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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News  News/Business. Live  
   coverage of House proceedings.  

    September 27, 2012
    1:00 - 4:59pm EDT  

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side most specific to gruder are the university of target ofset a approaching representation of the population per proportional representation. we mean more hispanics. we need fewer asians by implication because we are already represented. that sounds like racial balancing. the court said in gruder,repres. but she said no racial balancing. i guess you can say that they have not yet engaged in racial balancing at the university of texas. but they also say they want critical mass, in a substantial
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representation of minority students, not just at the university, but in every class. to get from here to critical mass in every class would take 50 years, 100 years, two hundred years. i don't think it will get done within the remaining 16 years of the 25 that justice o'connor and krueger said should be the limit. it could go either way depending on which threat of analysis he wants to take on. and then i have one other case. i will leave that case now. one other point i might make on that case, on the arguments that fisher makes, they are adding individual preferences to a state law that had already achieved a 10% plan, substantial racial diversity, by admitting the top 10%. and also, they used extremely large double standards in admissions. hi think the public may not realize how large the standards are.
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and that, quadruple standards, with blacks being preferred over hispanics, with both groups being preferred over whites. among freshmen entering duty in 2009 who were ed -- entering ut in 2009, a staggering 467 point separates the main s.a.t. scores of asians and blacks admitted with the explicit preferences. the racial gaps in high school gpa costs of these freshmen narrowly narrowed the s.a.t. prep. -- s.a.t. gap. these gaps are so large that the kids who are at the low-end of them will have trouble competing. let me turn to the other case. i will summarize. >> very briefly. >> the supreme court precedents
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render an employer carelessly rubble under title 7 -- based on race, gender or other protected characteristics. there is a conflict among to the courts of appeals about who is the supervisors of the justices have agreed to review the circuits ruling in advance to clarify the scope of the employer liability. full stop. >> is justice cave in -- is justice kagen taking part in the case? >> it matters cosmetically. there are five votes to reverse. i would imagine that to make your justice kennedy, you might think, well, is it a little unseemly to do something this big without a full court? >> does -- just to state the obvious, if there's a 4-4 tie,
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the university wins? >> yes. the reason justice kagen is recuses because she oversaw a brief. >> having been a law clerk for justice clarence thomas, carry severing also went to harvard law and he is the only member of our panel to have this year's late over prepared for life by getting a master's degree in linguistics. this may help her as she writes on the judicial crisis network, an organization that advocates in favor of the confirmation of judicial nominees with conservative values. >> i will have to have mined the agreement with sticks to speak fast here and i have been asked to talk about two categories of cases that don't have grants. one is in the same-sex marriage
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cases, the defense of marriage cases and the proposition 8 cases and the other is in the voting rights cases. both of these are likely to be taken on by the courts. we don't know how they will play out because they have not to grant uncertainty in these cases yet. i think they also share some interesting aspects, and those on the relationship between the state and a federal government. first, to turn to the defense of marriage act and proposition 8 cases -- i will talk about doma cases for it. first, for some history on doma, it was passed in 1996 and has two main sections from only one is really at issue in section 2 is about trying to protect states from being forced to recognized marriage in other states. the section that deals with the defense of marriage for federal
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purposes, federal law, federal taxes, a whole host of bedroll laws. it says, for the purpose of federal law, the word marriage means of a legal union between one man and one woman, husband and wife, and spouse refers only to a person of the opposite sex. that is the section of the law that president obama has declined to defend. at the house, they have created the bipartisan legal adviser group that is during the defense of these laws since the administration has advocated its role in defending it. -- has abdicated its role in defending it. there are several cases that have petitions for the court to decide amongst. the first one, probably the front runner, is a combination case of massachusetts nurses the
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department of human services. -- massachusetts vs. the department of human services. the equal protection clause violates the defense of mayor jack -- or the defense of marriage at-the people protection clause because there is no rational basis for it does not pass scrutiny. the idea of which level of scrutiny it must pass is a question. but they are happy to argue both. this case is interesting because justice kagen was involved at the district court level during her confirmation level where it came out. her office had been involved in the internal discussion of the strategy of the case, so she will be recused in that case. that would make a real wrinkle in the case. the district found that the
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first circuit also found that the defense of marriage act was unconstitutional. they ruled on able protection clause and ended up creating a new level of scrutiny. it is a heightened but not officially heightened scrutiny which would be the source of some concern by the supreme court, figuring out which level of scrutiny is appropriate to be used here. >this is the only one that has an appellate decision being reviewed. that petition was ready for consideration at the first conference. but they ended of not taking action on it. they seem to be holding onto it. another case that has not had an appellate decision but the government has recommended they
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do is a case out of california. in this case, you have a district court finding doma unconstitutional, but they have not had a ninth circuit argument yet. the same day that the department of justice filed in the deal in massachusetts case, it is called the supreme court ruling 11. is rarely granted, but in extraordinary cases where there is overriding national importance, the court does grant these things. in a language they use, they say that a judgment of a court judgment is granted -- i read that as shorthand as please take this case because justice kagen is recused from the other case. we would rather have kagen
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voting on this case. it is not clear that the department of justice has standing to appeal in that case because they really one below. they are arguing that the defense ameritech is unconstitutional. the court found the defense marriage act unconstitutional. in that case, the court would be hesitant to take this case. there are two others. one is peterson versus the personnel of office management, a connecticut case. another is a new york case. all of these have been petition for review for the district court. in all the other cases, the petitioner was the one new one below. so this is a series standing problem, or you have steny to appeal the case, whether you got everything you wanted in the case below. in the windsor case, the marriage was conducted in canada.
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the question is whether the marriage is valid in new york. they may not be very great vehicles. so it comes down to the massachusetts case and the california case, which has not gone to the ninth circuit yet. the justice department's public doesn't want to take a balance the case because they want kagen sitting in. but i think there are some strong reasons. the court would normally take cases that they have heard the whole appeal. i think the question will be whether the court reviewed the risk of running into a 4-4 decision, which is a serious risk and enough to push them into the equally unpleasant situation of having a case that has not been fully dealt with ahead of time. nonetheless, it seems that the court is holding them all to
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decide them together. the windsor and peterson cases will be finished briefing at the end of october. that means the early as conference they can be considered at its november 20. that puts the issue off until after the election. i think it would rather not have the court be part of the election run-up and i think that, if the court had granted on the same-sex marriage in any of these, that factor more into the campaigns than it already has. i think the chief justice would rather have the court lie low in terms of the political realm. with the history of proposition 8, california has several iterations of proposition 22, which said there would be no same-sex marriage in the state. that was found unconstitutional under the california constitution. then the court found that the california constitution already provides for same-sex marriage
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under the protection clause. there was a brief time when same-sex marriages were performed in california. simultaneously with that, there was proposition 8 been prepared and then the election the past that with a 52% majority as a referendum to say that amends the california constitution saying that, no, marriages between a man and woman. that presented an interesting history. in this case, it was a sensational trial. there were a lot of allegations about justice vaughn walker, who was the district court judge trying to publicize it. and a lot of questions about his propriety on sitting on the case and how he managed the case. he ultimately ended up coming down, to no one's great surprise, with a very broad ruling, finding that basically same-sex marriage was mandated by the evil protection clause of the constant -- by the equal
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protection clause of the constitution. you need not marry a member of the same sex. but the state must allow for same-sex marriage. [laughter] so his ruling was very broad. if he is right, every state cannot define america's only between a man and woman. the ninth circuit took that case and came up with a much more narrow ground. it looks to me that it is brown's uniquely tailored for justice kennedy. judge reinhardt ended up holding it. he basically says, look, we will leave an address whether this test is rational scrutiny as a matter of its cell. but when you already have a state where the law says you eliminate that right for a specific class of people for people who want to engage in same-sex marriage, then it gets
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a high and rational basis that we saw in rumor vs. evans. in that there seems to be no reason for that except rhode animus against the class of people that you are removing from this marriage thing. so it makes a difference in their mind that it is removing it from a right that was already there could set aside the fact that the right was there after the california court found it, after this whole history of citizens having passed a friend up trying to block it and the courts continue funneling -- courts continue refining it again. if you have the right and you take away, that is now an equal protection violation. so it has been criticized as a 1-way rajoy. if you have the right to that is not even required by the constitution and you take it away, you cannot do that.
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i don't know how that is not a one-we ratchet pay but that is a much more narrow ground. that case only applies to the situation in california. the way it is decided now. the supreme court has not made a call -- it is possible that they would take it. they would probably take it mostly due to shoot them down. if they approve of what they have done, there would probably let it stand. it is kind of a quirky opinion that it will not have that brought of an effect. except in potentially expending the way romer vs. evans is being interpreted. it is considered a very controlling our persuasive kind of precedent. if the court takes it, it is because they want to take issue with the way judge reinhardt did it.
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a summary dismissal of a similar challenge, a minnesota law defining marriage between a man and woman, the court did not even consider that in so the supreme court may be concerned that their president is not being taken seriously. those are the main -- that their precedent is not being taken seriously. those are the main ones. the voting rights has two sections. the first one exception to that prohibits discrimination, stopping poll taxes in an effort to keep blacks from voting. then in section 5, which was a new work around from the discriminatory practices explicitly listed in section 2. section 5 says that if you are a state or an area that requires
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-- you cannot change your rules ahead of time because there is a presumption that you will probably doing something wrong. in 1964, using improper tes and practices or have less of their eligible voting population available to vote and we assume that that is because this oppressed minority voter registration. this was originally authorized for five years. these things to try to fix racial discrimination or not perpetual and should be time limited. they re-upped it for another five years. the-for another 25 years. i guess they have become less optimistic. while not appreciably change in which jurisdictions are covered.
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the test for whether a state or municipality or whichever this covered jurisdiction is should be required through the pre clearance at a very heavy regulatory burden. it has to do with whether you're discriminating as of 1972. that is the real problem with this argument could the court has suggested and has been challenged because it affects states did family. we have indiana voter i.d. was upheld. then texas voter i.d., which is very similar, being upheld by this clearance process. it does not matter if you're like the indiana case, indiana is not under this pre-clearance case and you are. but you have to be pre-cleared and that is a much higher standard. so you have certain states held at a much higher standard than others and it is not based on what they are doing today. in texas, they have hire
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minority registrations than in indiana, and it does not matter how you're doing it. there are several places that are challenging this. in kingston, indiana, they have been covered since 1965 and doj did not allow them to change to non-partisan elections which minority voters want that. they were in the process of challenging it and finally the department of justice apparently it purposely mood to this case. they -- muted this case. they change their mind and decided to allow it. they have nonetheless petition for review. that case had a vehicle problem because of that. the main case is the shelby county, alabama case. and it has been also covered since 1965 and shelby county did
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not ask for a pre-clearance. they just challenged it facially. you are requiring us to do these things and not requiring other states to do it. it is not fair. full disclosure, we made this file criticizing the use of section 5 in this case. but i think this is nonetheless the most likely case to be taken partly because it has the muteness issue. i mentioned to the texas voter i.d. case. they have a pre-clearance issue with the odor id and with redistricting that have been working on -- with voter i.d. and with redistricting the have been worked on. south carolina and enacted a voter ideologue the same time. they're still in the middle of litigation. -- a voter i.d. law at the same
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time. they are still in the middle of litigation. in the texas context, there is concern about the unequal ways that states are being treated. and a tip their hand a little bit in a unanimous per carry a decision that came out this week called tenet vs. jefferson county. they were trying -- they were reorganizing their county state's biggest counties on a new census and it was shot down because there were slight variations of people in each county. the court basically said we will give them some difference in the factors they are looking at. they wanted to keep entire counties together. they said these are perfectly reasonable things to do. the difference between the sizes of districts is not so huge. so look for those cases coming
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up, but probably not early enough to affect the november elections. >> of an obscure section of the u.s. code specifies that, whenever 15 people gathered to talk about the supreme court, the next panelist must be present. tom olstein treated a blog that he has made the indispensable one-stop on the court. more than a million people turn to his blog for a decision. he spends his free time as a lawyer specializing on the supreme court. he has argued 25 cases before the justices, which is remarkable for a lawyer who can still be accurately described as young. >> thank you so much. there is no organization in the united states that is better at serving as a forum for the principal legal issues of the day.
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i have been asked to comment as well on the voting rights and same-sex marriage issues. she has done such a good job in describing these cases. the two points i would make about same-sex and voting rights act cases is why would the justices get involved because these cases are not on the docket. the court family takes only one out of 100 cases. but doma has been invalidated by a federal court of appeals. if we're going to strike down a federal statute, that is our job, the supreme court's job. the voting rights act cases, several of them come on appeal. generally, you have to ask the supreme court to grant review in your case. but there are tiny slivers of cases in the united states code that allow them to go to the supreme court could but the
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voting rights cases they almost have to take. they suggested very serious concerns about the constitutionality of section 5. they have a lot of interest in this issue. the second point is what to expect about the pivotal justices. obviously, justice kennedy, an ideological question, sits at the center of the court. on the other hand, stewart's confidence that he would have real suspicion about a race- based program at the university of texas. and it is felt in the gay rights community that he may be an ally after the rumor case. affirmative action is a very conservative world you. how is it that we have those in the head of one single person? the reason is that justice kennedy has a vision of the law and the constitution that is very much about individuals. he wants people to be thought of as people and not groups.
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the root of affirmative action is that you are treating them as black or hispanic and not as individuals. on the other hand, in the day marriage -- in the same-sex marriage, you're not treating them as individuals. striking it down is a huge deal. so there is no probable answer to what he will do in these cases. the sec and justice to think about is john roberts. he plays maybe not a pivotal role ideologically, but a pivotal role on how fast the court does anything. justice scalia, justice thomas, when they have a solid majority, they want to get to the end result. he will provide a fifth vote. the chief justice is more concerned with taking things incrementally and that will play out in all the big cases in the term. do you say that there is a
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constitutional right to same-sex marriage always are never or do you take a baby step in that area? do you say that section 5 is unconstitutional across the board argued car back on the number of jurisdictions that are subject to the pre-clearance regime? that is an incredibly important role. i will just add a fourth amendment case. the docket of all of the search and seizure cases coming up, be attentive to the new grant on when it is the police can take blood, when they think you are driving under the influence. there is an important case about that where it has the state's practice of taking blood when there is no accident. i would be surprised if the state's loss that because the alcohol in the blood dissipates and i think the justices would be right to take it. it at facts and lot of people. [laughter]
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-- it affects a lot of people. [laughter] >nobody here. [laughter] the other cases, none of them are very interesting. [laughter] the walmart case, which was a attempt to have a class action by women who had worked for walmart and the justices said you cannot put everybody into that case. but they are concerned about class-action procedure. when you try to have one lawsuit that abrogates a lot of people, the business community is very concerned that these cases can be so big. attorneys are concerned about cutting back on class actions because it is too hard to litigate them one by one. the amgen case will consider the question on how much justices should consider the case before certifying that everyone can be
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in a lawsuit together. do they figure out that all of them have one theory of damages? do they have to look into whether there was fraud or in a securities fraud case? so more in line with the wall decision -- the wal-mart decision. for people who are in college and try to get textbooks that are not incredibly expensive, the court has a very important copyright case. when do you buy a gray market books. textbooks bought overseas that are imported to the united states. or any other copyrighted material, do they have a right to be limited in coming into the united states. and then there is a question on when a lawsuit is mute. the supreme court has five cases on its docket this term on the question when someone has standing in a case that is moot.
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>> you have gone seriously under your time. >> thank you. >> let me ask you again about justice kagen. in the gil case, the case in massachusetts where they were challenging doma, they would -- she would be reduced in this case. two cases were decided the same about the same district judge but separately. and then the court of appeals combined them. does that mean she would have to recuse from both of those massachusetts cases or just gil? >> it would depend on the detail. so we will do an inside baseball analysis. this is the important question that she flag. i think it is most likely that, because there were two different lawsuits going on at the same
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time, there is a technical question on whether she did anything in the massachusetts state case was she was attorney general. if i tested, i am out. i would just a guess that is likely that, since the time that she was in the government, at the time the lawsuit was going on, that she would have enough involvement. i think carrie has it exactly right. i don't think they want her vote -- they obviously want her vote, but do they expected to vote for her position or not. but they want the court available to it cases where all nine can participate. i am pretty confident that they are convinced that she would not participate in either of the massachusetts case is. >> but me ask you another question about class actions. why is this question whether you can certify a class action so important to the business community? >> i passed through that too
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quickly. that was the notion of extortion. the business community's view on this is that, once the judge says, ok, all of these people are in this lawsuit together, you are not the addition the damage claim of one person, but that of a thousand people or 10,000 people are 100,000 people. the pressure on the defendant is so great to settle. if you lose, you could be bankrupted. and the court has been sympathetic to that concern and has been willing to say, well, before we let loose the dogs of war so significantly, we better make sure this is a really legitimate class-action and allow the judges to consider various things up front. but these are two things that have not said before they have to decide upfront, whether it is an allegedly fraudulent statement in a securities fraud case. it has to be immaterial one. and do all of the plaintiffs have a similar theory of damages? >> our final canales, dick
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rosencrans, teaches -- our final panelists, dick was in france teaches law right here. he was also a supreme court -- our final panelist, dick ches alw rightahce here. he was also a supreme court clerk. >> by the time the cases come down, nobody remembers. you will actually find been making reckless predictions. [laughter] i think he probably will not remember those once the cases come down. i have been asked to talk about three pieces and then one petition that is pending. the first two i called the dog- sniffing cases. they are a pair.
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i think people are interested in these because they have dogs in them. [laughter] the dogs are named aldo and frankie and i think people will respond to that. [laughter] these are fourth amendment cases. so a dog is brought to the front door of a house. the police knock on the door and then the dog can sit inside the house when the door is opened. and alerts were signals that the dog is smelling whenever he was trained to smell, in this case narcotics. and the question at issue in this case is that a search? is the dog sniffed and the alert, is that a search of the house which triggers fourth amendment scrutiny? i think it is a pretty -- well,
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on the one hand, the court has many times said that dog sniffs arnott searches. the only way this is different is the house. the court has expressed a lot of concern about privacy within the home. so you have these prior dog sniffing cases saying not a search. but you have this case called kilo, which is about thermal imaging of the house and the court says, peering into the house as it were by reading the heat signature coming out from the roof and walls and the court said that was a search. so you could say, is this like kilo? is it like a dog. into the house like the thermal imaging? or is it like the other dogs sniffing cases? the key difference between kilo to the dog sniffe, if you try
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balance the cost and benefits of the search or non-search, and one of the costs of police searches are costs to privacy, exposing information that you would rather keep secret. as to that, the dog sniff is the least intrusive imaginable thing because the result is totally by neary. there is either -- to leave by nearlbinary. there is neither narcotics or there are no narcotics in the house. in kilo, the court was careful to point out or was concerned that the heat signature could tell you other things, which could tell you when the lady of the house was taking her bath, that sort of thing. that was a concern for the court. but the dog sniff does not tell
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you that. i think that is a pretty easy case. i don't think the court -- i would -- it would not surprise me if that was unanimous. the second case called harris, this involves the police officer stopping a car because a taillight is out something and they take the dog around to sniff for the car and the dawn of alerts on the dog handle, signals that it smells something. this is a different dimension of the fourth amendment question. we are not asking is the dog sniff a search. we are asking that if the door of alerts on the car and then the officers searched the car and find all kinds of contraband. does the dog sniff constitute probable cause for the policemen's search? is that enough information for
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the police officer to open the car door and looked inside? in this case, there were a bunch of other facts. the guy was nervous and he had an open beer can and there are other reasons for the police officer to be suspicious. but what the case is trying to get that is how much information does -- get at is how much information as the dog and give you information for probable search -- for probable cause for research. the government's brief kind of overreaches in this case. it really sounds a lot like trust us, we are the government. don't worry. these dogs are really well trained. the likelihood is pretty good. it is not a persuasive, actually. the florida supreme court, which decided this is not ok, they just wanted some other facts. they said, wait a second, can
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you just tell us, often -- can you tell us how often there are false positives? can you tell a say about the training programs and with the statistics are? this is supposed to be a probabilistic inquiry. what are the odds? what are the odds we will find something in the car? the petitioners as, well, -- sorry, not the petition, the respondents as the dog often alerts to residuals, things that were not in the car now or work in the car at some point or smelled the wrong people's hands as they opened up the handle of the door. in this case, as it happens, the dog is trained to look for methamphetamines. and what they find in the car is not methamphetamines. it is precursor stuff to methamphetamines the driver is perhaps a methamphetamine and has it on his hands and transfers the smell to the door.
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but he wants to say, well, how often does that happen? how often is just a residual smell? it could be the grosz attendant or the gas station guy or whatever. and the government says, look, we'll tell this for people so that, if the police smelled marijuana, they can follow that up and see because they're probably right about that. and the dog has an even better sense of smell than a human being. surely, if it is ok for a human, it is ok for the dog. you could argue the other way give the dog has the better sense of smell and it will pick up the residual small that the human being would not pick up. so what constitutes a false positive is one question. is the dog alerting on a residual smell? and do we care? do we need to know what the odds are? that is what is at issue in this
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case. i do really think that the government overreached in this case. something about needing to know the statistics and the training and what not. the court is comfortable saying that's up. they like to know the odds. these are probabilistic inquiries. i don't think there will like the trust us, we're the government theory. there were earlier missteps in fourth amendment doctrine. as a general matter, if your conducting a search, you need a warrant. that is not obvious on the text of the fourth amendment. in fact, that is probably wrong. but it puts in a pressure on the definition of search. it makes you want to say that it is not a search could because it is, you need to get a warrant. if we did not have that, if we took the text of the fourth
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amendment seriously, it only requires that searches not be unreasonable. we could say that the dog at the front door is a search of the house, but a reasonable one. that may be a cleaner way to talk about what is happening. another doctrinal error is, if the search is bad, we exclude the evidence. so we exclude the evidence and the criminal potentially gets to go free. and the court does not like that. the court does not like letting the bad guy go free. if you change the facts about the guy with the drugs in the car and you make it a dead body, if the search is bad, the court does not like say, oh, sorry, we will send you on your way and here is your dead body back. [laughter] they don't like to do that. it puts pressure on the
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doctrine and it makes them want to say not a search or it is reasonable. >> isn't that what habeas corpus means? [laughter] >> exactly. so those are the two dogs sniffing cases. the third case is kiobal. i am nervous talking about this because there are at least 20 people in the room or more know more about this. it is the alien tort statute. it grants district court's jurisdiction on any civil tax by an alien. this is a very old statute enacted by the first congress. but it sat dormant for 170 odd years.
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then some civil rights type folks picked it up and human rights type folks and started bringing cases in which the plaintiff is foreign, the defendant is foreign, and the tort took place in some foreign place and they are bringing it to u.s. courts. so a paraguayan plaintiff and a pair of wayne defendant and it took place in her way. so the ticket to a u.s. -- a paraguayan plaintiff and a paraguayan defendant and it took place in paraguay. so they take it to the u.s. in this particular case, k iobal takes place in nigeria.
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and the nigerian government mistreated me, torture and so forth and these will companies, foreign oil companies, were complice it, helping the nigerian government do this to me. so i am wanting to sue the oil companies in federal court. and the oil companies defendants say that this does not apply to corporations. you cannot sue a corporation under this statute. that was their claim last year at the supreme court and the u.s. supreme court heard arguments in the case and did something very unusual. they said to the parties, we want to consider a broader question. so go back and we would like you to brief not just to this question of does it apply to corporations, but a much broader question of does it apply extraterritorial it at all --
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extraterritorially at all. it is very odd for them to ask the parties to address the bigger issue than originally briefed by the court. now the parties are arguing about whether this applies extraterritorially at all. the sheer fact that the court did that strongly suggests that the court is nervous about the statute and is wanting to cut back on its scope. i think everybody thinks that. the question is how far will they go? so the solicitor general says you should be very cautious about extending the extraterritorially, but leave the door open. it may sometimes applied extraterritorially, especially in that paraguay case in 1980 which was actually a good use of
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the tort. but the sg says mostly, yes, it does not apply extraterritorially generally. legalrmer state's advisers say have the will be a clean ruel -- have the rule be a clean ruerule. i clerked for justice kennedy. he is 9 usually one to close the door to an entire category of litigation. i'm morton to think that he would say not -- i am more inclined to think that he would say not for this case and yes for this case. this one is called u.s. of the
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bond. i filed a brief in this case. i am hoping the court will grant cert in this case. a woman spread chemicals on the doorknob of her neighbor she discovered that her husband is having an affair with the neighbor. and this is many different kinds of states crimes, as you can imagine. but an ambitious assistant attorney charges for under the chemical weapons convention implementation act. [laughter] you can imagine it was not really targeting this kind of story. [laughter] but it seems to fit. she's using chemicals to harm the neighbor could and she says where does congress get the power to enact this statute? in the third circuit last year,
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they said you don't have standing to make that argument. the u.s. supreme court said, of course, she has standing to make that argument so go back and make it been so, ok, on the merits, congress has the power to enact it and the reason is treaty. whether or not congress generally has power to enact something, if we enter into a treaty promising a certain category of legislation, congress automatically gets the power to enact the thing, even if they would not have had the power otherwise. so you have missouri the hollanv holland. treaties can increase the power of congress. regulate gun violence and
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women's health and the third circuit says, yes, that is the rule, missouri v holland, but we are urged the supreme court to have another look at this because this seems kind of crazy to us. so that is what has been teed up in a petition and i have filed an amicus. we hope it overrules missouri v. hall and. >> picking up on something that tom olstein said about the court been reluctant to take big steps, we have potentially some big step cases. an invitation for the court to deal a serious blow if not eliminate affirmative action or uphold a federal statute to too seriously change the workings of the landmark civil rights law, the voting rights act. will the court take those big steps or do it incrementally?
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>> in the same-sex marriage jerry, it is difficult to predict because justice kennedy will have to things pointing in different directions for him. i do think that the sense is that five years ago cases like this had no chance in the supreme court. there has been a change in conventional wisdom that i don't know corresponds with picking up a boat in the supreme court. in terms of the voting rights act and affirmative action, these are areas where i think justice kennedy does believe strongly. when it comes to affirmative action, i would be quite
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surprised. i am not sure that they would formally overrule it, but i would be surprised if it looked anything like it does right now. >> i agree with tom. i also think that chief justice roberts -- citizens united was a big step. i think he feels pretty strongly about racial preferences based on what he said before. based on his opinion in the northwest austin case, he feels pretty strongly that the voting rights act section 5 is deeply flawed. i am not sure where he goes next on voting rights. it is not a big step. if you say to congress, it stings, fix it and congress
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ignores you, what do you say next? >> they haven't tried it little steps of signaling as much as they could. doma, they had room to make bigger steps and say that there is physical protection rights to same-sex marriage. i don't think there is any chance they would do that. there is a lot of room for very small steps in various ways. what ever they do, it will be a smaller step. what events they do, i don't think they will call it a big step for overruling gruder. they will present it as a modification of existing doctrine. >> on the topic of big steps and small steps, big steps are often tarred with the wide brush
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of judicial activism. it is usually the logically necessary step. a small step could be incoherent of that. a big step is usually the right answer and it should not be rejected just on the idea that it is a big step. does it matter how the justices get along well with each other after what were apparently some somewhat surprised if not hurt feelings at the end of last term? does that matter at all in what we will see this term? or is that all forgotten and is everyone happy now? thomas? >> the justices have a remarkable capacity to get along. in the wake of bush vs. gore, that group could come back and, despite the depth of feeling and intensity of that case, it shows
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an institution that, unlike most others, really does function. there are folks here who clerked on the court and know the dynamics. i don't think it is essential that they get along, but it makes the day go by a lot easier. one thing i will say is, sometimes, to get to a coherent rule of law, when you have nine very strong-willed people who have very diverse views sometimes, people have to give. they have to be willing to say, ok, i don't agree with that exactly. it i am going to get to an opinion has by people in it. at that point, it is in says -- it is essential that they get along. we have -- we know what the rules are and the relationships
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can play a role there. >> what about former clerks? >> i will agree with tom. after bush vs. gore, i saw no residual personal antagonism or anything like that. i think they were really able to set the work to one side and were able to get along eckersley as far as i could tell. >> one other related question to this -- can we conclude anything at all about what chief justice roberts is likely to do this term based on his vote in the health-care case? does that signal anything? is he now armor-plated? what does it mean? >> i don't think it means very much. i am one of those many folks who thinks that he wrote the opinion he wrote on health care because that is what he thought and it seemed to me the opinion -- and others will throw stuff at me -- was plausible enough on its own terms.
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there is speculation that, now he has shown that he is not a right-wing nut all the time, he can go back to being a right- wing nut most of the time. [laughter] >> any other questions about chief justice roberts? >> i agree. i don't think he will do much. >> we invite questions from those of you here. there is someone with the microphone who will make his way. >> josh bursting with politico. i wonder if convicted comment on whether any of the cases you discussed would be an opportunity for president obama were gov. mitt romney to score political points and what that argument might sound like on these issues? and is there any earthly chance that either of them would try to do something like that? >> the only case that has gotten onto the radar of the broader
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public would be health care. i think it would be a reference back. the supreme court, because the economy takes all the oxygen out of the election with a little bit of foreign affairs, the supreme court does not play among undecided voters could but it is a motivator for one space to get out and get to the polls because you want this person to replace justice ginsburg when she retires, for example. and health care is really the only thing that resonates. if there is any possible outcome is that the obama administration has declined to defend the defense of marriage act. and governor romney may well decide that he would defend the constitutionality of that statute could but it does not seem that that kind of social conservative question has a lot of salience in something like a presidential debate. so other than health care, i do not see much happening. >> i think it will not happen.
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and here's why. no major national political figure has attacked affirmative action publicly since 1996 or before. it isind of remarkable. the republicans who, during the 1990's for a while, we're seeing some sort of political profit attacking affirmative action given the polls don't do it anymore. and the democrats, john kerry coming nearly 1990's, joe lieberman in the early 1990's and others, said maybe this time to stop these racial preferences. the democratic leadership council was inching down that road. but that has all gone. i have spoken with republican politicians. why is that? and the answer was that we get so demonized if we ever raise our voices against affirmative action. it is just not worth the cost, not worth the hassle. part of that ironically was that there was an incredibly bitter
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campaign california over proposition 209, which banned racial preferences in state programs in 1996. it was really bitter. and i think it is fair to say that there was an awful lot of demonizing and demagogic going on against the supporters of proposition 209 against the people opposing affirmative action. it was bloody. and i think politicians look at that and say, boy, i don't want to get into that. in fact, joe lieberman back off his questions about affirmative action as a result of that campaign. he said that was one reason why he wasattacks by jesse jackson. >> other questions? this gentleman in the front.
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>> i was curious, and i apologize this is obvious to everybody, but i do not understand it. i was wondering in defense of marriage act case, where does the bipartisan legal adviser group but the standing to enforce a federal statute? i was curious -- >> to defend its in federal court. >> this is something that courts do on a regular basis. the supreme court will have the party that has chosen the case -- has chosen to defend the case, they will argue only one part, but the court will appoint an a me guess. -- amicus.
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you saw the same thing in partisan 8, where they said they are not going to defend proposition 8, and they allowed intervenors advance them. the court -- our system is based -- and the court wants to make sure that the arguments are falling -- >> so that they have skin in the game. >> the president will not defend the federal statute, the attorney general has to write a little -- letter, saying here is the reason why, and that process is designed. congress then has the right to come in and defend the statute the past. -- they passed. >> for a while, after in the early days of the budget ministration, we saw cases come
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before the court about the rights of detainees in guantanamo bay, and how much they had the right to challenge the conditions of their confinement. the court now takes no interest and is content to let the court of appeals work out limitations. white t you think that is happening? >> the d.c. circuit is doing a good job, and even though they are controversial, the cases are being well addressed by the well-respected court. as a general historical matter, things are settling out after 9/11. just like after any crisis, there is a reaction by government, government puts things in place, and that is the nature of crisis response, and a lot of new initiatives come out, they are challenged, and what we have seen is things have
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stabilized, and there is more political consensus. look at what the obama administration is doing now, not much different than what the bush administration did throughout its two terms three had given there is consensus, that is one of the reason that national security is not an issue in the campaign, one of the reasons why things are fortuitous in the national security area. >> any predictions for retirement at the end of the term? >> depends on who the next president is. we have several justices who are getting older, but most of them would feel if they were voluntarily retiring and not forced to buy health that the honorable thing to do is to begin retiring during the term of the party that appointed you in the first place.
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you could see justice begins byrd, now that she is accomplished, she was -- ginsberg, now that she is accomplished, we may see her retire if obama wins. it makes a huge potential shift in the court based on the next president. you could have up to three additional nominees if something else happened and that would give a obama the opportunity to appoint the majority of the members of the supreme court, or it would give romney a chance to possibly shift the balance. anyone replacing justice kennedy will affect the balance, making it easier, assuming the president knows who to pick. >> you said retirements during
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this term. my prediction would be none. they all seem to be pretty healthy. >> in four years they could think it would be great to have somebody to replace me, but for years is a long time. i will worry about that later, i am having fun now. >> speaking of fun, we please join me in thanking our panel. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> at 5:00 eastern, we will go to the united nations for remarks by the united states president about libya. speechpresident gave a yesterday. the president of libya will make remarks this afternoon at 5:00 eastern. tonight more campaign 2012 coverage with the nevada senate race. watchers consider this to be one of the closest races in the country. it is live tonight at 11:00 eastern on c-span and c-span
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raider and online at c-spanrg. earlier today we spoke with a reporter covering this race. host: tonight the first of a series of debates in nevada between two people, dean hlleelr and shelly berkely. guest: this phrase has been very close for every year at this point, and polls have shown this week that mr. heller was up a few points. most polls show a tight. -- a tie. each candidate needs to find a way to break out.
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from heller, you can expect to see some attacks on ethics issues, which is that shelley berkley is under investigation, and this is expected to be a big issue in the race. everybody thought it would be eight games change. host: what for? guest: committee is investigating whether she used her position in congress to help benefit her husband's business. in july they made the decision to go forward with an investigation of her. this was thought to be a huge deal, especially because she is a member of congress. she is not necessarily well known in the northern part of the state. republicans have used this issue to define her to voters who did not know much about her before. what we have seen is the issue
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is baked in at this point in the polls. before the ethics committee made their decision, the race was pretty much a tie. host: as far as the representative is concerned, what does she have to do against the opponent? guest: what you can expect to see tonight is for one thing and she is trying to tie heller to .aul ryan's budget plan democrats love to say that heller voted for the plan twice, once in congress and once in the senate. he was appointed to the senate last year when senator john ensign resigned. he voted for it twice. this will come up tonight. it is for her to say that dean heller wants to end medicare as
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we know it, and try to tie him to that. you have also seen heller running a little bit from romney annika ryan with romney's comments last week about the 47%. you have seen heller distance himself from that. she will also likely bring up the dream act that is a big deal in nevada. it is the state with the highest immigrant population. he has tried to retract latino voters and has -- in other ways about rates. host: when looking at the polling, what is the story in nevada? guest: basically, we have seen an lot of ties in the polls, and
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tonight there is a new poll coming out. a fresh poll information going into a light color poll. they have an automated or republican or democratic polls, and they honestly show one candidate up a few points, the other up a few points, and nobody breaking out in this race yet. in the presidential rate, obama -- is still considered a swing state, but he has been up a few points. > host: is there anything to note as far as they're debating the styles go? guest: neither as debated recently, but sobel is
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described as a glitzy, and she has been on the attack on the trail. you will see an aggressive style likely from her, although i think she has tried to tone down las vegas and a little bit to appeal to more voters the rest of the state. dean helle is more calm, but he will make sharper points and go on the attack a little bit himself. host: you can see the debate tonight at 11:00 tonight as part of our 2012 campaign coverage. thank you for your time. >> to foster work and enterprise in the middle east, i will
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initiate something i call prosperity pacts, working with the private sector. the program will identify the barriers to investment in developing nations. in exchange for removing those barriers and opening their markets, developing nations will receive u.s. as distant packages. >> we believe freedom and self- determination are not unique to one culture. these are not american or western values. they are universal about values. even as there will be a huge challenge is to come, i am convinced ultimately government of the people, by the people, and for the people is more likely to bring about the stability, prosperity, and individual opportunity that serves as a basis for peace and
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our world. >> next wednesday, romney and obama will meet in their first presidential debate. watch and engage with c-span. after the debate, your reactions. followed live coverage on c- span, c-span radio, and online at c-span.org. >> the first thing in our article here is getting medicare costs under control is the number-one priority, and it is the most untouchable thing. that is going to cause more trouble than any other problem we have got fiscally in the united states. getting costs under control is the number-one thing. >> you say we also surcharge smokers and the obies for their medicare coverage. where did that come from? >> i am the person who put it in
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the memo, but i did not have to fight hard for it. this is something i ran into "the washington post," where i called them make up fatties. this is another thing where everybody knows this to be true, and someone has to pay for it. i am not saying he should bankrupt people, but there should be penalties -- i am not really a democrat, but i am a democrat compared to him, but you have to be responsible for your personal behavior, and somebody has to pay for it. >> we are not the only ones making arguments like this. there have been other commissions. the task force headed by alice
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rivlin and pete domenici also said with regard to medicare we need to do something about the appease and smokers, and they had a proposal for restricting the spending on end-of-life care. these are difficult, painful decisions, but we are going to have to face them. >> fixing the economy, sunday "q&a."0 on c-span's >> from the annenberg policy center, this is an hour and a half. >> good morning. i direct the annenberg public policy center at the university of pennsylvania. welcome to our session. these sessions will try to
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address the question, what is the role of journalism in holding campaigns accountable? to set a friend for our discussion, we are releasing the results of a survey of 1522 adults. we will offer the conclusion that the public still has a lot to learn from the race, and we will say that those who seek out fact checking on the internet no more. let me offer specifics. next slide. a sizable portion of the public failed to understand the plans and records of major presidential candidates. we know when people watch debates their level of knowledge includes. we expect in the third wave of this study to find that in these areas we have seen an increase in accurate reporting of it --
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reporting. we see suggested evidence in the data to say that when journalism concentrates on an issue, we increase knowledge. we see evidence that there is an association between checking online with fact checkers and news sites -- it correlates with an increase in knowledge. let me turn to the findings. central elements of candidates' plans -- 65% know that barack obama proposes raising federal income taxes on households earning $250,000 or more a year. he promised that in 2008 as well, so the promise has been around for a while. less than -- barely half know that the current romney-run plan would preserve traditional medicare for the 65 or older and retain traditional medicare for those younger than that. 51% know that mitt romney would keep the bush tax cut in place
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permanently. some knowledge -- a long way to go. next slide, please. to candidates' records -- that payroll taxes increased during barack obama's time in office -- decrease during barack obama's time in office. 25.4% know more jobs were created in the first term of barack obama then the last term of george bush. that is a claim you see back- and-forth in advertising about who lost jobs and gained jobs. public confusion is to be expected. 31% knew that when mitt romney was governor of massachusetts, job growth in massachusetts improved. a claim in which democrats are trying to muddy the waters. in a long way to go in terms of improving public knowledge. we see deceptions that have been reinforced a lot in advertisements. 53.8% know that the statements
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are not accurate. barack obama has dropped all work requirements for individuals receiving welfare. 53.8% now that is not accurate. the rest either have the answer wrong or say they do not know. 41.6% know that this statement is not accurate -- mitt romney says that as president he will work to make abortion illegal in all circumstances. deceptions in ads being believed need more public knowledge. next slide. on matters of background knowledge, in which the item was in the news for an extended period, they have higher levels of background base knowledge. these are not contested claims, so we would expect the knowledge level to be higher, but we are right around 70% who know the supreme court held that a fine in the affordable care act was constitutional since it
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was a tax. roughly the same, -- the percent that knew that the decision to downgrade the american economy from the highest credit rating, standard and poor blamed both democrats and republicans for the downgrade. when news media concentrates over extended periods of time over a matter of importance to the public, public knowledge rises. we have a public capable of learning. we do see increases in learning as news attention increases at debates focus more intensely on contrasting positions. next slide, please. we see that seeking at fact checking, a fact checking or news site, in order to find out whether a statement by one of the presidential candidates was correct or not is associated with higher levels of knowledge. the controversy this year about whether fact checking matters -- this association would suggest it does. there's the question, did more knowledgeable people simply
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come to the site? we have the causal inference wrong. in order to tighten down that inference, we control for those factors that might increase knowledge, such as closely following the campaign, education, ideology, gender, and the like. it does not establish a causal inference, but increases the likelihood we have the direction of causality correct. we do need to go into a controlled experiment. we will report one of those in the second panel. its conclusion will be the same. fact checking by the flack check model, visual debunking of visual claims, produced the same findings. as a result, we do think that the additional, argument for causal direction is that fact checking sites and the news area on the web, as long as this -- as well as stand-alone
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websites, can increase public knowledge. with that as a background, it is my pleasure to introduce brooks jackson. the first panel will discuss what it sees as possible and we hope not actual deceptions of the presidential debate. >> thank you. i know the assignment we were given is the title -- fact checkers forecast deceptions. it was not forecast whether or not there will be deceptions. when we put this up to our colleagues and kick it around formally, nobody pushed against the premise. if any of you think there will be no deceptions during the debate, please feel free to say so. i will introduce my colleagues and analysts here. each of them is going to give their prediction about next week costa made.
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-- next week's debate. we will start off with bill adair, director and founder of the pulitzer-prizewinning site politifact.org. a journalist of many years' experience here in washington. bill, what are we going to see? >> we had a discussion last week about what we expected. i offered to be a little contrarian. glenn made the point he did not think mitt romney would use the line is that we have all been discussing so much -- that kathleen mentioned in the survey -- the claim that obama has gutted welfare reform. i am sure you have seen that if ad that all three of us have debunked. i want to play a short video and -- as an example of this, and talk about why -- this is a video from the republican convention.
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[video clip [ >> i will be the first to publicly say i was wrong. my objective is for people to know the facts and the truth of all of this stuff. >> you know what you should do? you should go on some kind of truth tour. >> as a matter of fact, i already have. >> or what? that sounds crazy. what is it called? >> it is called the truth tour. >> where is it going to go? >> 30 states, 30 cities. >> this is from politifact. [applause] they checked a romney campaign claim that obama will end
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welfare work requirements, rating it "pants on fire." that, i believe -- i do not know what that means, but clearly that would be uncomfortable. in reality, the obama administration has said it will consider proposals from states aimed at finding better ways of getting welfare recipients into jobs. factcheck.org and the washington post fact checker have said the same, that the claim is false. [applause] what do you say? >> allow me to respond. >> the truth tour begins tonight. [laughter] >> i should have set that up to point out that the beginning of that was hermann cain maintain the same point the romney campaign had, that the obama administration is getting rid of the work requirement.
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what i thought that showed was the importance of fact checkers in this campaign. i really think, and brandon and glenn and i were talking about how things are different this time compared to 2008. there is more fact checking than ever, and the fact checking has a much greater prominence this time. candidates are being asked about it. i got a call from cnn last night -- they had asked mitt romney in an interview about how the fact checkers had looked at that and other ads. this year, more than ever, there is fact checking. this year, more than ever, fact checking is playing a role in the campaign. i think the survey indicates that people are better educated when they come to our site. in addition, the rest of the
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media is talking about our work in great ways. i think that when you look back on this election, we will say, this was the year of the fact checker. this was the year that fact checking really hit critical mass. let me get to predictions -- i think this will come up in the debate. not because mitt romney will bring it up, but because he will be asked about it by one of the moderators. but the romney campaign has shown no signs of pulling back on this. i got a mail -- i live in virginia -- i got a mail at my house for my daughter, who registered to vote a week ago. it repeated all the lines in the welfare at. -- ad. i think the romney campaign has found a message that it once to -- wants to keep hitting. i think that will come up in the debate. we will hear from obama. initially, we saw this in the polls, this has resonated, their traditional scare seniors about
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medicare tactics. that has been working really well. so i think obama will bring that up. one thing we will hear is the phrase that romney would end medicare's guarantee, which is a phrase the democrats have liked to use recently. we have raided that half-true for two reasons. one, it is not like it really has a guarantee now. congress can change the medicare benefits any time it wants to. it frequently has. now, romney would change the structure in which people would pay for medicare. it would go from being -- it would turn into the essentially a voucher plan. in that sense, we found some truth and rated it as half- truth. >> thank you, bill. our next prediction from glenn
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kessler, checker of facts, awarder of pinocchios. what will we see? >> i have two. they both deal with medicare. one thing i always say, the more complicated a subject is, the more susceptible it is stretching the truth. when it is complicated, you can make assertions that a lot of times journalists do not have the time or inclination to check. i do want to say one thing about welfare -- the reason i said i did not think romney would bring it up is because he did not mention it in his campaign speech. the issue is a very complex one with many sides to the story. though i did write the run the ad with four pinocchios. it really went over the top with the extreme interpretation.
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the obama administration's counter-spin leaves a lot to be desired. there is something very fishy going on with the issuance of the memo over the summer -- the people behind that now in the administration are skeptics of the welfare law. i have not gotten to the bottom of it, but i have given the obama campaign through -- three pinnochios for their counter- spin, particularly the way president clinton spoke about it. i did not think romney would necessarily bring it up himself in the debates because it would allow for a very muddy back and forth between the two men. in debates your most effective when you can make a clean shot. and resonate with voters. my predictions -- romney will repeat his claim that obama cut
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$700 billion from medicare. during the primaries, the republicans used to claim that obama funded his health-care plan with $500 billion in cuts. how did it balloon to $700 billion? a simple explanation. the congressional budget office is in a new estimate based on a different and later 10-year time line. republicans decided to pick the biggest number possible. medicare -- spending is not being reduced. $700 billion -- that comes from the difference over 10 years between anticipated medicare spending, what is known as the baseline, and changes the law makes to reduce spending. the statement -- that is mostly come out of health care providers, not medicare beneficiaries. the medicare actuary has raised significant doubts as to whether any cuts would take place. they are actually a bit onerous. according to the medicare trustees' report, propose
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reductions in spending actual strength in the long-term health of the medicare program. in fact, house republicans adopted many of the same cuts in their own budget. a point that bill clinton made rather effectively in his speech to the democratic convention. they argue that they devote savings to reforming medicare, not funding new entitlements. that is an important difference. both parties agree that controls are needed on medicare spending. but they disagree about the best path for. -- forward. this claim by the republicans, i give it to pinocchios. obama will claim that are ryan's plan for medicare will for seniors to pay $6,400 more a year to make up for cuts in the program. this is an old democratic attack that has been around for a while. the problem is it is based on an earlier version of ryan's plan. that is another thing i have given two pinocchios. people should always be aware of dire predictions far off in the future.
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the $6,400 figure refers to an analysis of cbo estimates of a different, less generous ryan plan that goes to the year 2022. they make no estimates of the new version, except to say that beneficiaries might face higher costs. the plan was changed in other ways too. it changed the option of traditional medicare. it also decided to set the feature growth rate for medicare to the same matter accused by obama in his budget so there would not be a difference there. a study published recently by a journal of the american medical association suggests the average cost to additional medicare would be on the $800 more a year in the ryan plan if it had been in place in 2009. that is obviously significantly lower than $6,400. strangely, president obama was at the aarp last week, and he used the $6,400 figure, which appears in many of his ads. then he added something, that was in his original plan, i want to be fair, he modified
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it, because obviously there was a lot of push back from seniors on that idea. will have traditional medicare stand side-by-side with the voucher program, no current beneficiaries will be affected. it was so striking that he would undercut the message of his own ad. the headline on his remarks, "obama plays fact checker in chief." it was an interesting moment when the president, in effect, indicated his advertisements for using simplistic and out of date figures. i wonder if romney will call him out on it in the debate. >> my third colleague, james drinkard, is at the associated press, where i started many years ago. jim, i am looking at the combined experience appear of covering washington, all the
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baloney that its issue here. we have among us more than a century of dealing with these kinds of issues. jim, your prediction. what are we going to hear in the debate? >> there is a pattern here. you can see that it follows the social science dictum that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. as a wire service guy, i am not in the prognostication business, but i feel fairly safe going out on a limb in a couple of things today. eight months ago, in the state of the union speech, obama issued an appeal to congress to spend more federal money on construction projects that would generate jobs. what he said was, take the money we are no longer spending at war. use half of the to pay down our debt. use the rest to do some nation building right here at home. we pointed out in a fact check
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that night the fallacy of that idea. the idea that some kind of budget surplus is going to be created when you stop the wars is fiscal fiction. those wars have been primarily financed by borrowing. if you stop the wars, you do not have new money, you just have less debt being added. it does not treat a pool of ready cash. -- create a pool of ready cash. on top of that, the supposed savingof this supposed peace dividend is inflated because it is based on spending numbers that are extrapolated into the future that would come from the height of the intensity of the war and they do not follow the downward trend that it has been in reality. we pointed all that out in a fact check on a state of the union night. how does the administration react? three weeks later, the
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president issued a budget that claimed $850 billion in savings from the wind down of the wars and steered $230 billion of that highway construction. the president of the committee for responsible for budgets said the administration's logic was like a kid graduating from college who had financed most of his tuition with student loans and saying, wow, all that money, now i can spend it on something else. the reality is that there is no money. you are stuck with a bunch of debt. we fact check the budget as well. fast forward to the acceptance speech in charlotte three weeks ago. obama barely changed the word. he said, i will use the money we are no longer spending on war to pay back the debt and put more people back to work. after two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over $1 trillion, it is time to do
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nation-building right here at home. since obama used pretty much the same words, so did we in our fact check that night. we recycled what we had used. when we were asked to predict mistakes candidates would make again in the debate, this one seemed like pretty much in natural. even before today, actually, last friday, in woodbridge, virginia, obama said again that he wants to use or savings to pay down the debt and put people to work. i think that is fair game for the debates if they go there. for romney, i have a prediction that i think is solid. it goes back to the title of his campaign book two years ago -- "no apology." ever since, romney has made a point to criticize obama every time he thinks there is any whiff of apology in something the president has said.
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i first heard it myself last april here in town, when romney was making a speech to a group of newspaper executives. he blamed obama for the anemic recovery and said, "obama's attention has been elsewhere. he was not focused enough on the economy. his attention had been on things like a government takeover of health care and apologizing for america abroad." in our fact check that day, we quoted what obama had said in overseas trips, including an assertion that at times the u.s. had acted contrary to its own ideals or had been selective in where it sought to promote democracy. it had sometimes shown an arrogance toward allies. we pointed out that when he made those kinds of statements that suggested the u.s. is not completely above reproach, he usually balance it with praise
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for things the country had done right. all that -- that is in a long tradition of presidents acknowledging past imperfections. these cannot by any normal dictionaries amount to apologies. either formal or informal. again, last month, when romney accepted his party's nomination, he repeated the assertion that obama had begun his presidency with an apology tour, and obama had confessed the u.s. had "dictated to other nations." that fact check story went into greater detail, pointing out that obama's trips to europe, latin america, to the muslim world during his first months in office, no indications were he had said the nation had made mistakes. in most of those cases, the
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context was a call for better relations with other countries after which he described as damage done by misguided moves by his predecessor, bush. so we fact check that. again, it did not seem to make a difference to the campaign. earlier this month, when that violence broke out at u.s. diplomatic outposts in libya and egypt. romney jumped to accuse obama of disgraceful handling of the situation, including sympathizing with those who waged the attacks instead of condemning them and making a "apology for american principles." we fact checked that, and we pointed out that neither an unofficial statement from the cairo embassy nor statements from secretary of state hillary clinton nor obama's own
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statement contained any sympathy for the attackers if you read the plain language of them. the administration's condemnation of religious incitement on the anti-muslim from did not come anywhere close to being an apology by any definition. -- anti-muslim film. i have a feeling that romney stands ready to apply this overly broad definition of apology at any opportunity in the debates or during the endgame of the campaign. >> thank you, jim. before i make my own prediction, i want to know something kind of remarkable happening in the last couple of days. both candidates have been asked and referred to fact checking, their reaction to it. we have a clip of what president obama said in a "60 minutes," interview. it was put up on the website of cbs. it was kind of interesting. [video clip]
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>> the fact checkers have had problems with the ads on both sides, and city have been misleading and in some cases just not true. does that disturb you? some of them are your ads. >> do you see sometimes us going overboard in our campaign, mistakes that are made? areas where there is no doubt somebody could dispute how we are presenting things? that happens in politics. >> aren't the american people entitled to the truth? >> the truth of the matter is that most of the time we're having a vigorous debate about our visions for the country. there is a lot at stake in this election, so is it going to be sharp sometimes? absolutely. people have a good sense of where i want to take the country, where governor romney -- >> so there you have the president saying, well, do we go overboard and make mistakes, that happens.
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yesterday, cnn was pressing mitt romney on the welfare matter. he made the statement that, well, whenever we have made mistakes or false claims, we have corrected them. are any of you aware of any corrective ads the romney campaign -- the romney campaign was not even when cnn pressed them for examples. they have not corrected anything -- romney seems to have stated that they have made some incorrect claims. i think that the likelihood is that we will hear some twisted or false claims coming out because this is not unique to this particular campaign. this has been going on for a long time. we have pretty strong evidence that the greeks holding forth in the agora in athens, 2500
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years ago, were pulling the wool over the eyes of voters even back then. at least with obama, as of we have heard, he is somewhat more circumspect when speaking in person about his new ones and some of the things you hear coming out of his ads. in one case, he corrected or contradicted his own advertising. to make my predictions, i sort of threw darts at the claims they make in their stump speeches, romney and obama. we recently did takeouts on the standard speeches that they give. one from each side. i predicted it is quite likely that we will hear mitt romney say that gasoline prices have
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doubled under obama, which is an example of one of those things that is, yes, literally true if you look at where gasoline prices were when he took office. they have plummeted due to the world wide near-depression we suffered, but the fact is that they have never quite gotten as high under obama as they work for several weeks in the summer of 2008 under bush. i think we will also hear president obama say that we have created half a million manufacturing jobs. he will drop his voice and say, in the last 29 months, which is of course not his entire administration. he measures of the point where things have bottomed. we have regained fewer than half of the more than 1 million manufacturing jobs that have been lost on his watch. that is a better way of putting it.
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not false claims, but claims that leave a false impression if you do not look at them. i think we hear a lot of that. i will ask if you hopefully provocative questions of our panelists to get the discussion going before we throw it open to questions from the audience. are their claims for any of you, that they have made in the past that we have found to be false or badly misleading the they are not going to repeat for some reason? >> i feel fairly certain that we will not hear romney conflate the number of people who are bound to vote for obama, the number of people who do not pay federal income tax, and the number of people who receive some sort of federal benefit, that that is all the same 47%. i doubt we will hear that again.
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>> anybody want to disagree? >> probably not. i do not know if that -- it was for consumption by a very small public. those with big wallets. >> that gives you an important aspect of our fact checking. we focus on the big, national messages, but we know there is lots of micro-targeting going on that is using very precise media to hit very precise audiences. we are not seeing that. we try, we asked readers to submit ideas through facebook and e-mail and what ever. we get a tiny portion of that. i think the case in point, this mailing i got from the romney campaign, maybe that is not going to be a message we hear romney assert at the debate, but it is clearly won the
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campaign is continuing to make. talk to campaign people, they will tell you, hey, you do not know about the ads you did not see that are running in tiny markets in ohio and florida and what ever. i think there are plenty of those. >> what i am wondering about -- we heard one example of the president being more careful about the facts when he was speaking in person than his campaign is when putting things out. i think probably we will not hear barack obama claim that mitt romney favors a ban on abortion even in cases of rape or incest, a totally false claim and a misrepresentation of romney's overall stance. he has been consistent ever since he switched to -- to be in generally against abortion. he has not always had this position, but since he has
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adopted his present position, it has been clear. he has favored the usual exceptions. the obama campaign has in two tv ads repeated this utterly false claim. i do not think we would hear that out of the mouth of the president. do you share my view that the candidates are more circumspect in person than they are -- and their campaigns are in advertising? or is it just the president, not mitt romney? what do you think? >> particularly in a high-stakes situation like a debate, we are talking about the debates, i think it will be more circumspect. i cannot offhand think of a claim that they would or would not say, but it a whole different matter when you are right next to that person and they are able to respond and say, actually -- you saw during the campaign debates that there were moments when they would turn to each other and say, you
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got four pinocchios for that. that was pants on fire. you do not want to get into a situation where you are exposed in that way, particularly with the internet, people can quickly look these things up. i noted that when one of them said, you got four pinocchios about that claim, the next day i had tens of thousands of hits. people had gone to the web and looked up what newt gingrich was talking about. >> another question -- recently, one of mitt romney's operatives made the statement to reporters when they were pushing him on the claim about welfare. we will keep running that, we will not have our campaign did but -- dictated by fact checkers. probably a lot of news people were shocked by the cynicism they heard coming out of his mouth.
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jim, you have been around the longest -- did this surprise you? >> i really cannot say that i was. they had kind of behave that way all along. they were certainly not terribly worried enough to change the rhetoric when something is pointed out to them. >> you mean the romney campaign? >> yes. i do not see a lot of evidence of trimming statements back to make a more accurate when they are repeated -- >> i do not know about that. this is -- my take on this, in the context of that question and answer, they were saying that this is the most effective ad. they said, that got four pinocchios. the response was, we are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.
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what he means by that, politicians in both parties will stretch the truth if they feel it will give them a political advantage. if that is the most effective ad, it does not matter what a bunch of nitpicking journalists might say about it. that ad moves people and has an impact. i have seen both obama and romney suddenly tweak or change or drop language called out by fact checkers. ultimately, there was a decision there that it does not mean that much to us if we fix this. we will get less grief if we treat it a bit or change it on the margins, but the key things that move voters, such as, he apologizes for america or obama with that ridiculous thing about savings from the wars, and in the same breath he criticizes george w. bush for running wars on a credit card.
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he will say those on this one sentence after another without any sense he is contradicting himself. there is pulling there that says that is an effective line and moves voters. it does not matter what the actual facts are. that is when -- >> in that statement, he also said, fact checkers come to this with their own sense of thoughts and ideas and backgrounds. he is trying to redefine what a fact is. he is saying, there are no objective facts. it is to somebody else's opinion about what we are saying. it is kind of like redefining apology. they are redefining what effect is. >> i do not want to be unfair to romney. my own view is that the attitude on the part of the obama campaign and the romney campaign was pretty much the equivalent. the surprising thing was that somebody from either campaign said it out loud.
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shocked news editors who had not been paying all that much attention previously. are the differences? -- are there differences? to any of you see differences in the attitudes of the campaign apparatus is? >> i think what jim said about the no apology theme is the same thing applies for obama. campaigns are about themes and messages. the campaigns have decided that these are the five or six or however many things we are going to hit. we are going to have done repeatedly with as much evidence as they can muster. at some point, they have got to stretch the truth to make this point. both of them are doing it. we talk about abortion -- the interesting, here is how i could see the abortion one playing out. i think obama, i am sure, recognizes romney's current position on abortion, but i could see an exchange returns to romney and says, now, you did support the personhood amendment.
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could that not have the impact of outline all abortions, and put romney on the defensive and score the points they want to score and remain in the facts on that. of course, that is how they have tried to connect the dots on abortion, by taking romney's position there. i think it is all about themes. they have their themes and will keep hitting them. in some cases they have got to connect the dots that really are not there. >> do you see places were either campaign has paid a price for misrepresenting facts? >> it was pointed out, it was not for public consumption, but the conflation of those groups, there was a serious -- >> but for general consumption -- tv advertising, applause lines in the stump speeches, that sorof thing. >> i do not know.
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that is kind of depressing. >> if you follow the reaction we get -- >> in votes, or in the polls. campaign money, something that matters. >> you do have a control group or anything that you can tell that. i say, i do not write for politicians. i write for voters and try to make them better informed. politicians will react to voters. if voters decide it will extract a price when a politician has not been honest, then politician behavior will change. but because we read a bunch of statements that were not correct and they would have paid the price, i do not know. i did one thing on romney -- for a long time in his stump speech he would say the united
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states was the only country on earth where we put our hands over our hearts when we sing our national anthem, which was quickly disproved by just looking on youtube. people around the world going like this and singing their national anthem. he dropped at the very next day. >> he paid the price. >> i would say that is an example of actually changing behavior, which i think happens rarely, and in small increments. >> the other thing we do not know is how many campaign messages are going on each riders were they are talking about wording and if they -- and how often they are saying, well, if we say that, the fact checkers will get us. i suspect that happens all lot
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and the only evidence i have of that is from connie schultze, who is married to jerry brown, and she said that happens all the time in the campaign. i think there is so much of fact checking going on, not just with our four organizations, but with many others around the country. we have partners in 11 states. there are newspapers and websites are around the country that are doing their own fact checking. there are a lot of guys out there. >> that kind of suggest that if things are that mulled over before they are said, especially the speeches at the conventions, then when they come out and repeat things that they know will be a fact check again, that suggests they have concluded there is no prize, or the price is so small that they are willing to suffer it, whatever it is.
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>> there may be a price, but it is balanced against a poll tested line that moves voted. you do a cost-benefit analysis and the benefits they're completely outweigh the cost of yet another column in the "washington post" or the associated press that says there is no money there from saving the war. it happens. >> sometimes i am struck by the aggressiveness of the ads compared to what comes out of the candidates mouths. do you see a difference in the campaign operatives, the people down in the trenches grinding out these ads, which they will then paste a little video of the candidates to say i approve of this ad even if he may not have seen it? are the candidates really in
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charge of their campaigns? >> the super pac's are a whole different world. i did have a conversation with a guy who runs a super pac had and this was after he was screaming at me about something i had written. and he just laughed and said, i don't give a hoot what you say. >> was this an exact quotation? [laughter] >> i was thinking for tv and so on. but he said, these ads work. they move voters. so what? i don't care what you write. give me as many pinocchio's as you want. these things work. >> some observers have pointed out that is almost considered to
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be a badge of honor to be called out by all of us. has it gotten that bad? you think there is that much cynicism? >> when we write these things, i would say they still care about that to some extent. they may think the price is affordable, but we certainly get push back when they think they have been treated unfairly. >> someone talked about post- modern truth. you have to be honest. you can look at a set of facts and come to a different conclusion. and there are times we have looked at the same set of facts and not necessarily come to the same conclusion. some of that push back that you get from the campaigns is just saying, well, i'm sorry, you may think that is factually
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inaccurate, but we think it is factually accurate. and you are you to sit in judgment? >> although, the welfare ad is a good example. there is a strong current on the republican side that says there is no trust here. this looks like an attempt to undermine the work requirements in the current law. but we are sir -- sort of being asked to fact check the future here because it has not happened yet. you cannot read people's intentions. you have to listen to what they say, what they have put on paper, what they have outlined, and make some judgments about it. but we will not know until and unless the waivers are implemented exactly how they will be used. >> right, exactly.
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>> we now have some time for questions from you in the audience. if he would like to know how we go about our business -- please, identify yourself. wait until the microphone comes before you ask. >> i am meredith mcgee and i have been working with the league of women voters of a process to support tv stations when they do this. one of the things we have been hearing from the tv stations run the country is that they do not have the resources to fact check. they ask turned around and said, can you help us back -- help us. and to some degree, newspapers are saying they do not have the resources to do the fact checking that they would like to do, or that we would like them to do. and particularly, in this new economy. how do you respond to those tv stations or newspapers to say,
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yes, we would like to do this, but we do not have the resources? >> let me address that first just to say that we have partnered primarily with newspapers, but also public radio, in 11 states and i think we have found a very successful way to scale fact checking. we now have 11 state sites in ohio, wisconsin, florida, etc. where we have trained journalists at newspapers and at new hampshire public radio how to do political fact checking, and they do it. it does not have to be a big organization. it does not have to be multiple people. our smallest partner is a newspaper with about 17,000 in nashua. they do great fact checking on the leaders of new hampshire.
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we have 36 full-time fact checkers around the country. we have talked to many tv stations. none have been willing to make a commitment to it yet, but i could see that happening. tell them to call me. >> also, sort of a partial answer, when campaigns put out new advertisements, ap tries to look at them and do what we call an ad watch. it is sort of like a fact checking version, but just for television ads. we try to do those within the first day or two after a new advertisement comes out. we cannot do all of them, but as the ad happens to be -- the ad they are dealing with happens to be one of those, there may be some resources on the wire for that. and again, if they are marked for targeted ads that we are not even seen, then we only treat the ones that look like they will get wide distribution around the country. and generally, they are the ones that are going into an ember of
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battleground states. >> the only thing i would add, not an empire builder like bill is here -- [laughter] -- but i do think there are those states that cover politics -- that have reporters that cover politics. and there's nothing that says you have a dedicated fact checker put -- operation. if you cover politics, you should be able to set aside some time to say, ok, let me that what the candidates has been saying. -- let me vett what the candidate has been saying. when i was with newsday, i took effect checking of what dole and clinton were saying and i took up the covering of a campaign. it was on the did -- the eve of a debate and it -- and i just said, this is what you have been
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hearing them say, and here is what is true and what is not true. there are the resources, you just have to take those people and use them appropriately. >> i would endorse what i said earlier. it does not take a huge staff. for one thing, you have the resources of all the fact checkers appear before you, and the others in the media who are doing this sort of thing. anybody who wants to do this sort of thing at the local level can draw on a lot of the spade work that has already been done just by reading was on our site. when i started doing -- when kathleen butler brought me over from the center, i was doing this by myself and with the assistance of one researcher and then later to a vote. we now have expanded into five full-time journalists as well as myself for this election.
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but you do not need that many people. i did need to be an experienced, smart, good, reporter that has been around a track a few times and has been lied to enough that they can recognize this sort of thing and deal with it. you do not want to give this to the latest new higher just out of journalism school -- new-hire just out of journalism school. my second observation is, asked the station manager how much money they are getting from the political ads that are running on their stations and why they do not devote one half of 1% of those profits to telling people that the stuff they are feeding the public is not necessarily true. what is their moral obligation? maybe they do not have a big staff. but it is not as though they are not making little of money on these false ads . falseoodles of money -- oodles
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of money on these false ads. they have the money. it is just a question of how they deploy it. >> i am from the national institute of civil discourse. jim started with the example on how effective it has been of the 47% of those who do not pay income tax. that is dropping out of the candidates' speeches. you talk about margret targeting. this particular fact in terms of responses we get -- micro- targeting. this particular fact in terms of responses we are websites in terms of normal people, not media, my question is that given campaign consultants, every cycle, their goal is to get more specific about micro- targeting. and with so few voters up for grabs, i wonder if you are taking back checking into the micro-starting area, particularly this late in the stage of the campaign.
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>> i think our challenge is to find out what those messages are. if the campaigns are using social me get in very targeted ways, it is not being seen by us. -- social media in very targeted ways, it is not being seen by us. and if it is a small portion of the population in florida, now when things to say, florida, why do you look into that? that is an area where we could build a crowd sourcing network to highlight those things. we have tried to our partner, npr, and we have not had that much success. we have said, if you get a robo- call, if you see an ad, and we will get a little bit of feedback out of that. it has not yielded the response we would like. i think crowd sourcing is the response to that. >> and we act factcheck.org, we
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do something called spin detectors and we have been asking our visitors, readers, subscribers to send as examples of this sort of thing. do they get targeted mailings? do they get robo-calls? do they get live calls from or the rumors from people reading from scripps? -- from boiler rooms from people reading from scripts? we have had limited success with this, but the big challenge is that they do not send this stuff to reporters. and it is not like they are putting on a television station where it can be monitored and where we can see every ad that goes out. we are pretty good at screening the tv ads. there is a huge potential for flying under the radar. targeted groups of voters things that are not true. i do not know that it is going
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on. i assume it probably is to some degree, but how great a degree i do not know. we are trying to get at this with limited success. if anyone who is listening has received something like this, please let us know, or let one of us know. and one of the challenges to is that in my experience covering these sorts of things for a long time, these things tend to flood in within the last two weeks. anyone who lives within a congressional district in a big city where there is a hot race and television is too expensive and all the money gets spent instead on these big postcards knows that your in-box just fills up with these things in the last couple of weeks before the election. that makes it difficult for us to parse through all of this stuff and do it in a useful push back before the election, but we would like to do it more than we are doing.
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jim, do you have any thought to add on micro-starting at all? >> it just in terms of crowd sourcing. get people to fact check through using hatchett tags. -- hashtags. i have gotten a few. i would hope that people with video cameras would be sending step of speeches and things like that, but none of that ever came. we are open for business. >> take part in the fact that we have seen repetition in the targeted by inch. we are seeing the limited imaginations of the people putting the dow. -- putting these messages out.
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>> i am from "time" magazine. i wonder if any of you would make a qualitative or quantitative judgment about which campaign of this cycle of presidential campaigning has been more receptive, and whether that judgment is something that should be tried to be made for voters more often. voters have an enforcement mechanism to try to decide whether this campaign is breaking the rules and honesty. >> the answer is, no, we do not try it. we do not know of any objective way to measure that. we would not even try to measure. even if we could come off with a scholarly, academically respectable way to say when candidates -- one candidate is being more receptive than the other, i think we probably would not, just because it would look like we were endorsing the
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other candidates. and it would limit our ability to persuade people of what the facts are. do you have a different opinion? >> i would agree. it is a really tough thing. first, at some of us have methods of trying to quantifying -- try to quantify the falsehood, but it is a real continuum. there are a lot of misdemeanors as well as the felonies that go on. how do you devise some kind of rating system for that? the other thing is that you only fact check the things that you see and can access. we tend to try to fact check the things that are either the most widespread or the most egregious or the most interesting, or the most clear-cut. that leaves out some things. there is a lot of squishing as in any attempt to quantify it, to me. >> i agree completely.
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i tried to do at least one today, maybe two. occasionally, we might have three. but it is a self selective process. and often, we are picking things that would have the broader reader interest, that helps explain things. i will not pick something that is just stupid and silly. but if there is a way to help people understand more about the federal budget, or about the health care system in this country, and that is something i will focus on, as opposed to something that is just a slip of the town or something like that. -- a slip of the or something like that -- a slip of the tongue or something like that. like i have said before, politicians in both political parties will stretch the truth is in their political interest.
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maybe you can lay out that this particular candidate was more egregious in this instance or in this campaign than that political candidates, but overall, it is in their political interest and they think they can get away with it, they will stretch the truth. and it does not really matter who they are or what political party they work with. it is just the way it is. >> i think the best thing we can do is to do journalism and focus on the claims that people are curious about and fact check them and do the best journalism we can. from there, people are free to take our work and draw whatever conclusions they want, and they can account for, as jim said, the difference between more significant falsehoods in their view, and more significant misdemeanors. with us, we actually go the furthest of any of the -- we go the farthest, of any of the others as a report card in which
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-- in what each official is saying. we tally it because our readers ask for it. that is as far as we go. what is interesting, and i do not put a lot of stock in it, but it is fun to see what people do with our work -- there is a guy in ohio who does some work you have any mancow not release a on c-span it begins with -- who has a name i cannot really say on c-span. it begins with "who is more full of -- " dot com. we are happy that people use our work as they see fit, but it is best to focus on the claims that people are asking about.
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>> in focusing on the campaign, the average pinnock your ratings for all of the candidates, it gives an average provided is a little self selected in terms of what we look like -- have looked at. for both mitt romney and obama, they are both in the 2% range. there is not much difference. for the republican primary candidates, there were some that were higher than others. michelle bachmann, i think, had the highest. >> we had a self-imposed michelle bachmann " at some point during the debates. -- michelle bachmann quota during the debates. >> but again, i do not know what it tells you. it does provide something interesting to look at. it does provide links to every single fact check that i or my colleagues have done for all of the presidential candidates.
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>> george mason university. i think we have seen both candidates in a vulnerable position of being challenged on flip-flops' of position or permanence not kept. i have noticed so far that the tendency of both governor romney and president obama, when challenged by a voter or a journalist, is to not attempt to say, well, the facts have changed. the facts are different. the fact that i look at now are not the fact that existed when that was my belief. instead, there are various levels of equivocation and bluff. one recently was when president obama was, i think, talking to a latino group who challenged him on his failure to keep the promise of the emigration
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reforms to he intended to make. right then and there, i was hoping that the president would say, well, the picture is different. let's look at it empirically. i wonder why candidates do not simply say the facts have changed when it appears they have failed to keep promises. >> you track obama's promises and the extent to which he has kept them or is working on them or has reneged on them. maybe you have the most information on that? >> we have something called the eter we are interested to see that neither candidate has made that number -- near that
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number of promises this time. i do not necessarily think it means they need to set of facts have changed, but more about calculation. the comments that obama made about prescription drugs for medicare, allow medicare to negotiate prices, allowing their real importation, things he sacrificed as part of the deal in order to get the support of the pharmaceuticals, i do not know if the white house has ever said that on the record. hey, we made a calculation and we are suffering. as we look at the promises, some are broken because of the gridlock in congress. others are broken because the
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white house made a calculation, hey, we are going to go for something else instead. >> on immigration, his statement was actually more egregious than that, because basically, he said, i was so busy saving the economy i could not do anything on this. which was not correct at all. forave him two pinocchio's that statement because he just did not step up to the plate. that is why it was a difficult answer for him to answer. he could have just said to my native political calculation and immigration reform was just not high on my list for the other things i wanted to do. instead, he tried to portray himself as the superman who could not -- who could downed several buildings at a time, but not that particular building. >> he had not been intact -- attending the intelligence briefings. that is why could not answer that at that time. [laughter]
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>> i want to pick up bill a little bit, because the data is a little bit more available than it is for the other factors. you have said that your not sure what the and this is tell you. in -- with the indices' tell you. the university of minnesota humphreys and public affairs school found last year that the fact rate of republicans fall to a three to one over democrats. and recently, a george mason university study found republicans false at a rate of two to one. it is also true that politifact.com targets republicans for evaluation, regardless of how they come down and the rulings. that, to me, suggest that fact checkers have a partisan agenda that they bring to the table, which is what was being suggested and i think that is campaign said that
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-- the republican campaigners said that was why they would not be held back by the fact checkers. >> i'm not sure i agree that i -- that they have been unfairly singled out. the studies show that we have chucked roughly -- checked roughly the same number of democrats as republicans. i do not know. i do not find the, "hey you give my team -- because i hear it from both sides. i was at a party over the summer and a guy came up to me and said, hey, i think that has beent. virginia very unfair and have been very biased against him came, the democrat. and then about a week or so later, the virginia republican party came out and said that politifact virginia is
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unfairly targeting republicans. i think what we do is disruptive to the status quo. i think we are easier to analyze because of our unique structure. but i do not find the numerical count analysis to be particularly persuasive. what i would like to talk about is when you have substantive questions about something we have done. we are happy to talk about it. when we make a mistake, we correct it. you also have to reflect that this is journalism. we are not social scientists. >> just to follow on that -- the way i do this is i don't really look at who is saying this statement when i evaluate it. i do give my readers every six
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months a running tally in say here is how many democrats i have looked at and here is how republicans and here are the averages. it's interesting to see how it all falls down. but i don't think about when i go out and fact check. just in terms of the reader's response, it breaks down roughly three ways. one-third of the people like what i do and send me nice notes. one-third of the people think i'm a screaming conservative and can't imagine why i'm working at the "washington post." one-third say i'm a crazy liberal hack who is simply doing the bidding of the democrats. it goes through cycles.
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brooks and i were slaughtered by democrats when we are raising serious questions about the obama campaign's time line on when romney worked at been over the summer. during the conventions, i was criticized for what i wrote about the republicans and then criticized for what i wrote about the democrats during the democratic convention. the only thing i can say more broadly, and -- democrats tend to be more angry and more upset about some of the things i write. i guess that is because they believe the myth of the liberal media. >> a couple of things. i think in a lot of ways, what
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we right -- we try to come into this dispassionately and neutrally. but what we write is they were check test for the reader. i see that all the time in responses to what we right. people really gravitate toward their polls either criticized what they have written or they love it. invariably, someone who reads a fact check that may be critical of their candidate says there you go again. you are always picking on the sky. you never fact check the other side. -- always picking on this guy. see a lotat's what we of. when you have a scale that you used to great things, you
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inadvertently invite some of the numerical analyses, but i think that is a misuse of the data for the reasons we stated. we are not trying to create something you can analyze in that way. another thing i would say is we are in a year which has been dominated by a primary season where only one party had a primary. they had 21 or 22 debates. that's going to produce a certain amount of fat checks and they're all going to be about republicans and that's going to skew the numbers. >> there were debates in january. jim's observation is absolutely correct. when i first started fact check,
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we were getting screams from democrats because so many of the criticisms we had at a time, late in 2003, in the middle of the democratic process, they are all about democrats because george bush was wisely keeping his mouth shut while dick gephardt, howard dean, and others told horrible falsehoods about each other. so you are only criticizing democrats? at the time, that was probably true. i get complaints from republicans when we defend republicans from falsehood said by another. they haven't even read the story. i reject the idea where singling out either party for undue attention. if we were, how come rachel m
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,ddow is not bill's biggest fan sometimes and not very factual way, what he has said about liberals. what we do is apply the standards of the journalistic accuracy to the claims made by candidates. if i would fire a reporter for turning in copy like this ad, i would call it falls. we screen all of the ads. we look at all the statements we possibly can. we love to the bunkers false political claims. i don't care who is pitching. if we get a good one, we will not get as far as we can. "the weekly standard" would agree with you look at civil rights, for example, the goal should be equality of opportunity, not equality of results.
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if -- i don't know the figures he gave me are accurate, but if you are seeing criticisms of one side more than the other, it might reflect the fact there is a republican primary going on or it might reflect the fact that one party at that particular time is failing this same standards, the same journalistic standards more than another. you can infer if there are more criticisms of one side, i think this varies over time. that means that there is any bias on our part, that's a false logic. i don't know that it's three to one and i don't know what time you're talking about and i don't know if it's a complaint about republicans criticizing other republicans. it is certainly not three to one on our side. other questions?
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if we can get the microphone to the table -- i am keeping debra hopping. >> given what we have heard about people choosing to believe that their side or their candid it over people who believe they are objective journalist, and i count myself among them, i don't think many voters think being a liar is a disqualifying marker for a candidate. what are the benefits you are seeing for your vote in an election year? what can happen on the ground because of fact checking? >> kathleen alluded to this earlier -- she previewed a little bit -- you have heard some of my colleagues say they have seen some the modifications
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of behavior and they will tweak a statement here or there. i have not been aware of much of that myself. oughtt think what we do to be -- there's just too much incentive for them to say what they have to say. these campaigns are not public policy seminars. they are going to do what politicians have been doing for centuries. what i think we can do and where we can have some effect and where i think the evidence is coming out today that there is some effect is that we can help those voters who care. a lot of them down. they're just going to vote for their personal matter what and they don't want to hear it, whether there can that says something is wrong, that's fine. but there are a lot to do. -- there are a lot who do.
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what the data is showing us is that is to click in to some sort of fact checking website have a better knowledge of what the actual facts and issues are than those who don't. i think that's a positive and good for democracy. some of the results of the polling is a pretty depressing about the general level of ignorance. candidates are exacerbating that rather than helping it in some cases, so we provide something of an antidote to that. >> can you add to that? >> i completely agree. as i said before, i write for voters, not for politicians. a large part of what i try to do, i have these funny little pinocchio's at and and i'd been candidates for statements, but my main goal is to help inform
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people about major issues that confront this nation. i provide links to additional documents and people can go off on their own and go through the data and a lot of these arguments are how can you say that is three pinocchio's? if they go out on their own and learn more about the issues that confront our country, it's a huge success. look at the data of what americans think much money the federal government is made up of foreign assistance. people think 50% of the budget is foreign assistance. there is a lot of education that needs to be done.
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that is ultimately what i hope comes out of this. >> there's another question at the same table. ofi'm in the department communication at the university of maryland. i want to ask about your use of web sites and e-mail's. our students are reading these and the e-mail to party members are fired off immediately after a convention speech or a speech somewhere saying look what obama said, we want more money, so we don't want him to continue it this presidency. or let's stop him in his tracks. these are new sources not only for students and partisans but the curious who are interested in politics and news junkies and there are millions getting news this way. i wonder if you make any effort
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-- i realize you are swamped with what you have. >> i would say we tend to look at the thing is getting the widest exposure which means things that are on television, adds, speeches, major events, news conferences -- the kinds of communication you are talking about -- they don't even pretend to be objective or neutral. they are cheerleading. it's no surprise that they might play fast and loose and they are going to people who want to believe them by and large anyway.
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i suppose we could get into the business of tracking those things, but with limited resources, we tend to want to look at things set in an atmosphere where at least there is some pretense of activity. >> i make an exception for of viral facebook posts and things like that, either one side or the other have done. there was one earlier this year that i think politifact looked at earlier this years -- something nancy pelosi put out -- that obama had increased the that the lease of any president and last six or seven presidents. it was all over facebook and exploded among democrats.
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i ended up giving that four pinocchio's and that became a viral thing from the other side. also looked at graphic elements that either campaign has put on there website. assertions of fact there that were wanting in both cases -- >> we try to do a lot of those things on facebook because the same way that chain e-mail's became a medium for transmittal of false information, the facebook posts that we called jpeg propaganda, especially during the occupy movement, became a way to spread propaganda. much of it inaccurate. it is tough.
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what we have to go through every day, this gets to the challenge -- any given day, there are probably 50 or 60 or 100 things we could check. we have for fact checkers. we have to be selective and lately, we focused almost entirely on the presidential campaign messages. but there are interesting senate races we have been unable to fact check. we have a elizabeth warren and some of the claims there in the massachusetts race. we have not had the staff. >> i think your question want to e-mail sent by the campaign staff. we have a section devoted to viral e-mail and some of this stuff is amazingly delusional and we can't resist going after it.
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we signed up for and get the mails they send to their supporters. bass -- they tend to be the same messages over and over again that sometimes we have a bunk. sometimes they go over the top. we got one from the romney campaign -- i don't know what they were thinking, after the fed stood there and ben bernanke held a news conference saying they're going to go through another round of quantitative easing, printing money. the message to donors was this -- the "barack obama is at it again, spending your tax dollars per "two things about that -- the fed is reducing the deficit and making huge profits returning record amounts of money to the treasury as a result of all their previous quantitative easing. so the opposite of spending your tax dollars is true. and of course the fed is legally independent and run by guy appointed by george w. bush.
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so this was so completely over the top that we decided we have to do a piece on that particular e-mail. pretty much these messages to true believers exceed what we have already defunct. >> we are out of time. thank you for your attention. we appreciate your questions. [applause] >> coming at 4:30, we will be live at the un for a speech from the president of libya. he will be speaking before the general assembly gathered this week. coverage starting at 4:30 eastern. we will have that live on c- span. before that, earlier today, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu spoke to the world body. this is just over half an hour. [applause]
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>> thank you very much, mr. president. is a pleasure to see that general assembly presided by the ambassador from israel. it's good to see all of you. distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, 3000 years ago, king david reigned over the
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jewish state's in our eternal capital, jerusalem. i say that to all those who proclaim that the jewish state has no roots in our region. and that it will soon disappear. throughout our history, the jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who have sought our destruction. it is their ideologies that have been discarded by history. the people of israel live on. we say in hebrew -- [speaking hebrew] -- the jewish state will live forever. [applause]
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the jewish people have lived in the land of israel for thousands of years. even after most of our people for -- even after most of our people were exiled from a college use continued to live in the land of israel throughout the ages. the masses of our people never gave up the dream of returning to our ancient homeland. defying the laws of history, we did just that. we gathered the exiles, restored our independence, and we built our national life. the jewish people have come home. we will never be uprooted again. [applause] yesterday was yom kippur, the holiest day of the jewish new
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year. every day for three millennia, we have come together on this day of reflection and atonement. we take stock of our past. we pray for our future. we remember the sorrows of our persecution. we remember the great travails of our dispersion. we mourn the extermination of a third of our people, 6 million, in the holocaust. but at the end of yom kippur, we celebrate the birth of israel. we celebrate the heroism of our young men and women who have defended our people with the indomitable courage of joshua, david, and the maccabees of old.
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we celebrate the marvel of the flourishing, modern jewish state. in israel, we walked the same path trod by our patriarchs, abraham, isaac and jacob. but we blaze new trails in science, technology, medicine, agriculture. in israel, the past and the future find common ground. unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. for today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval period the forces of maternity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected. in which an ever expanded
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digital library is available in the palm of every child. in which every life is sacred. the forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, and in which knowledge is suppressed, and in which not life, but death is glorified. these forces clashed around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the middle east. israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. we protect the rights of all our citizens, men and women, jews and arabs, muslims and christians, all are equal before the law. israel is also making the world a better place. our scientists who win nobel prizes, power know how is in every cell phone and computer
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you are using. we prevent hunger by irrigating arab lands in africa and asia. recently, i was deeply moved when i visited one of our technological institutions and i saw a man paralyzed from the waist down climb up a flight of stairs fairly easily with the aid of an israeli invention. israel's exceptional creativity is matched by our peoples remarkable compassion. when disaster strikes anywhere in the world, in haiti, japan, india, turkey, indonesia, and elsewhere, israeli doctors are among the first on the scene, performing a life-saving surgery. in the past year, i lost both my father and my father-in-law.
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in the same hospital wards where they were treated, is really doctors were treating palestinian arabs. in fact, every year, thousands of arabs from the palestinian territories and arabs from throughout the middle east come to israel to be treated in israeli hospitals by israeli doctors. i know you are not going to hear that from speeches around the podium, but that is the truth. it is important you are aware of this truth. it is because israel cherishes life that israel cherishes peace and seeks peace. we seek to preserve our historic ties and historic peace treaty with egypt and jordan. we seek to forge a durable peace with the palestinians. president abbas just spoke here.
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i say to him and i say to you, we won't solve our conflicts with libelous speeches at the un and that is not the way to solve problems. we won't solve our problems with unilateral peccary -- unilateral declarations of state. we have to sit together, negotiate together, and reach a mutual compromise in which a demilitarized palestinian state recognizes the one and only jewish state. [applause] israel wants to see a middle east of progress and peace. we want to see the three great religions that sprang forth from our region, judy is on,
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christianity, and islam, coexist in peace and mutual respect. yet of the evil forces of radical islam, who you just saw storming the american embassies throughout the middle east, they oppose this. they seek supremacy over all muslims. they are bent on world conquest. they want to destroy israel, europe, america. they want to extinguish freedom. they want to end the modern world. militant islam has many branches, from the rulers of iran, with their revolutionary guards, to the al qaeda terrorists, to the radical cells lurking in every part of the globe. but despite their differences, they are all rooted in the same bitter soil of intolerance. that intolerance is directed
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first to their fellow muslims and then to christians, jews, buddhists, hindus, secular people, anyone who doesn't submit to their unforgiving creed. they want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma, unrelenting conflict. i'm sure of one thing -- ultimately, they will fail. ultimately, light will penetrate darkness. we have seen that happen before. some 500 years ago, the printing press helped pry a cloistered europe and a dark age and eventually ignorance gave way to enlightenment. so, too, a cloistered middle east will eventually yield to the irresistible power of freedom and technology.
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when this happens, our region will be guided not by fanaticism and conspiracy, but by reason and curiosity. i think the relevant question is this -- it's not whether this fanaticism will be defeated, it is how many lives will be lost before it is defeated? we have seen that happen before. some 70 years ago, the world saw another fanatic ideology bent on world conquest. it went down in flames. but not before it took millions of people with it. those who oppose that fanaticism waited too long to act. in the end, a triumph. but at a terrific cost.
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my friends, we cannot but that happen again. at stake is not merely the future of my country, at stake is the future of the world and nothing could imperil our common future more than the army of iran with nuclear weapons. to understand what the world would be like with a nuclear- arms iran, just imagine the world with a nuclear-armed al qaeda. it makes little difference whether these legal weapons are and hands of the world's most dangerous terrorist regime or the world's most dangerous terrorist organization. they are both fired by the same hatred. they are both driven by the same lust for violence. just look at what the iranian regime has done up until now without nuclear weapons.
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in 2009, they brutally put down the protests, the mass protests for democracy in their own country. today, there henchman's are participating in the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians, including thousands of children -- directly participating in this killing. they have vetted the killing of american soldiers in iraq. and before that, iranian proxy's killed hundreds of troops in beirut and in saudi arabia. they have turned lebanon and gaza into terrorist strongholds, and betting nearly 100,000 missiles and rockets in civilian areas. thousands of these rockets and misfiles have already been fired at -- missiles have already been fired at israeli communities. in the last year, they have spread their international terror networks to two dozen
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countries across five continents, from india and thailand to kenya and bowl garecht. -- and bulgaria. they even planned to blow up a restaurant a few blocks from the white house in order to kill a diplomat. and of course, iran posing rulers repeatedly denounced rulers repeatedly denied the holocaust. i ask you, given this record of iranian aggression without nuclear weapons just imagine iranian aggression with nuclear weapons. imagine a long-range missiles tipped with nuclear warheads. there terrorist networks armed
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with nuclear war peck -- nuclear warheads. who among you would feel safe in the middle east? who would be safe in europe? who would be safe in america? who would be safe anywhere? there are those who believe that a nuclear-armed iran can be deterred like the soviet union. that is a very dangerous assumption. militant jihadists are knott's -- are not the secular muslims. military jihadist be very different and secular marxists. deterrence worked with the soviets because every time the soviets face a choice between their ideology and their
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survival, they chose their survival. a great scholar, prof. bernard lewis, put it best. he said that for the ayatollahs of iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent. it is an inducement. iran's apocalyptic leaders believe that a holy man will reappear during the holy war, thereby ensuring that their radical brand of islam will rule the earth. that is not just what they believe is getting their policies. but just listen to the ayatollah who said, "the use of even one
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nuclear bomb inside israel will destroy everything. however, it would only harm the islamic world." rafsanjani said, a "however, it is not irrational to compliment -- to contemplate such an eventuality." not irrational. and that is coming from one of the so-called moderates of iran. shockingly, some people have begun to peddle the absurd notion that a nuclear-armed iran would actually stabilize the middle east. yeah, right, that is like saying a nuclear arms al qaeda would usher in a universal peace. ladies and gentlemen, i have been speaking about the need to prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons for over 15 years. i spoke about it in my first
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term in office as prime minister. and i spoke about it when i left office. i spoke about it when it was fashionable, and i spoke about it when it was not fashionable. i speak about it now because the hour is getting late. very late. i speak about it now because the iranian nuclear calendar does not take time out for anyone or for anything. i speak about it now because when it comes to the survival of my country, it is not only my right speak. [applause] and i believe this is the duty of every responsible leader who wants to preserve world peace. for nearly a decade, the
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international community has tried to stop the iranian nuclear program with diplomacy. well, that has not worked. iran uses diplomatic negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its nuclear program. for over seven years, the international community has tried sanctions with iran under the leadership of president obama -- and under the leadership of the president obama, the international community has passed some of the strongest engines today. i want to thank the governments represented here that have joined in this effort. it has had an effect. oil experts have been curbed, and the iranian economy has been hit hard. it has had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. sanctions have not stopped iran's nuclear program either.
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according to the iaea, during the last year alone, iran has doubled the number of centrifuges in its underground facility in colmes. at this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent iran from getting the atomic bomb spiris. and that is by placing a clear red line on iran's nuclear weapons program. [applause] reddit client don't lead to war. -- reddick lines don't lead to war. redlines prevent war. it just look at nato's charter. it made clear that an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all. and nato's red line help keep the peace in europe for nearly
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half a century. president kennedy said a red line during the cuban missile crisis, that red line also prevented war and helped preserve the peace for decades. in fact, it is the failure to place redlines that has often invited aggression. if the western powers had drawn a clear red lines during the 1930's, i believe they would have stopped nottie aggression and world war ii might have been avoided. -- nazi aggression and world war ii might have been avoided. in the 1990's, if so, usain would have been told that his conquest of kuwait would have cut -- if saddam hussein would have been told that his conquest of kuwait would have crossed the red line, that could also have been avoided. earlier this year, iran threatened to close the strait of hormuz. the united states drew a clear
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red line and iran backed off. now, redlines can be drawn in different parts of iran's nuclear weapons program. but to be credible, a red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their efforts to iran's iraq -- to enrich uranium. let me explain why. basically, and the bomb consists of explosive material and a mechanism to ignite it. the simplest example is gunpowder and refuse. that is, you light the fuse and yousuf of the gunpowder. -- you set off the gun powder. in the case of iran's efforts to build a nuclear weapon, the nuclear enrichment is the
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gunpowder. the fuse is the detonator. producing the gunpowder is a lot more difficult than a detonator. for a country like iran, it takes many, many years to enrich uranium for a bomb. it requires thousands of centrifuges spending in tandem in very big industrial plants. those iranian plants are visible. and they are still vulnerable. in contrast, iran could produce a nuclear detonator, the fuse, and a lot less time, maybe under year. maybe only a few months. it the detonator -- the detonator can be made in a small workshop, the size of a classroom. it may be very difficult to find and target that workshop, especially in iran.
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that is a country that is bigger than france, germany, italy, and britain combined. the same is true for the small facility in which they could assemble a warhead, or a nuclear device that could be placed in a container ship. chances are, you will not find that facility either. in fact, the only way you can credibly prevent iran from building a nuclear weapon is to prevent iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb. how much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb? and how close is iran to getting it? well, let me show you. i brought a diagram for you. here is the diagram. this is a bomb. this is a fuse. in the case of iran's nuclear
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plants to build a bomb, this bomb house to be filled -- past to be filled within that -- with enough -- this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. and a half to go through three stages. the first stage, they have to go through enough low-enriched uranium. the second stage, they ought to enrich enough medium-enriched uranium. and the third and final stage, they have to enrich enough high- enriched uranium for the first bomb. where is iran? iran has completed the first page. it took them many years, but they completed it and they are 70% of the way there. now they are well into the second stage. and by next spring at most -- by next spring, at most by next
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summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. from there, only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb. ladies and gentleman, what i have told you now is not based on secret information. it is not based on military intelligence. it is based on the public reports of the international atomic energy agency. anybody can read them. there online. -- they are online. if these are the facts,, and they are, where should a red line be drawn? a red line should be drawn right here.
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before iran completes the second stage enrichment necessary to make a bomb, before iran gets to a point where it is a few months away, or a few weeks away, from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon. each day, that point is getting closer. that is why i speak today with such a sense of urgency. and that is why everyone should have a sense of urgency. there are some who would claim that even if iran complete the enrichment process, even if it crosses that red line that i just got through, our intelligence agencies will know when and where iran will make and assemble a bomb and prepare the warhead. look, no one appreciates our
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intelligence agencies more than the prime minister of israel. all of these leading intelligence agencies are superb, including ours. they have formed many attacks, save many lives, but they are not foolproof. for over two years, our intelligence agencies did not know that iran was building a huge nuclear enrichment plant under a mountain. do we want to risk the security of the world on the assumption we would find it in time a small workshop in a country half the size of europe? ladies and gentleman, the relevant question is not when iran will get the bomb. the relevant question is at what stage can no longer stop iran from getting the bomb. the red line must be drawn on
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iran's nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target. and i believe, faced with a clear red line, iran will back down. this will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether. two days ago from this podium, president obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear-armed iran cannot be contained. i very much appreciate the president's position, as does everyone in my country. we share the goal of stopping iran's nuclear weapons program. this goal unites the people of israel.
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it unites americans, democrats and republicans alike, and it is shared by important leaders throughout the world. what i have said today will help ensure that this common goal is achieved. israel is in discussions with the united states over this issue, and i am confident we can chart a path forward together. ladies and gentlemen, the clash between modernity and medievalism need not be a clash between progress and tradition. the traditions of the jewish people go back thousands of years. they are the source of our collective values, the foundations of our national strength. at the same time, the jewish people have always looked toward the future. throughout history, we have been at the forefront of efforts to expand liberty from inequality
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and to a advanced human rights. we champion these principles not the spite of our traditions, but because of them. we had the words of isaiah, and others to pursue justice and cherish life, and to pray and strive for peace. these are the values of my people. and these are the jewish people's greatest gift to mankind. let us commit ourselves to defend these values, so that we can defend our freedoms, and protect our common civilization. thank you. [applause] >> and lydia's president is
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scheduled to address the u.n. general assembly in about 10 minutes at 4:30 p.m. eastern. we will give you that -- bring you that live here on c-span. earlier today, the palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas address the u.n.. we will show you as much of his speech as we can before libya's president begins his address. [applause] >> i welcome the chairman of the executive palestinian authority. his excellency mossman abbas, and to invite him to address the -- mahmoud abbas, and invite him to address the general assembly.
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>> in the name of god, the compassionate and the merciful, president, the general assembly, ladies and gentlemen, i wish to begin by extending appreciation to all of the heads of all delegations. we stress the urgency for progress and just peace in our region. and it and gentlemen, we have confirmed what we have persistently drawn attention to and warned of, the catastrophic
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danger of the racist colonization of our country. during the last month, attacks by terrorists militias of israeli sectors have become a daily reality with at least 535 attacks perpetrated since the beginning of this year. we are facing a relentless waves of attacks against our people, our laws, churches, and monasteries, and our homes and schools. they are unleashing their venom against our businesses and properties and our people have become targets for acts of killing and abuse with the current fleet -- with the
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complete collusion of the occupying forces and the government. it should not surprise anyone. it is the continuation of occupation at government policy that deliberately foster's settlements and settlers and dean's their satisfaction to be it octomom priority. it is they bought -- its optima all priority. it is a byproduct of the race is on -- racism in the israeli curriculum and hatred, which are rooted in the discriminatory laws that created an enacted over the years against the palestinian people as well as by
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the security apparatus and courts, which provides an excuse for the settlers should one of them happened to be arrested. they fabricate crimes and -- since beginning of the general thembly's previous session, occupying powers persisted with their campaign, focusing on violence. it is a campaign deliberately aimed at altering the glorious images of the police city etched in the minds of mankind. it is a campaign of ethnic
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cleansing against the palestinian people by that the pound -- by the demolition of their columns and the revocation of residency rights, the denial of basic services, especially with regard to the conception of schools, the close of institutions, the impoverishment of the community besiege behind walls, preventing millions of palestinians from freely practicing at home, in churches, schools, and the market. the occupying power has also continued its construction and expansion of settlements in areas throughout the west bank. and it has continued its suffocating blockade, as well as trade and attacks against our people in the gaza strip, who to this day continue to suffer
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from the disastrous effect of the destructive war of aggression committed against them years ago. nearly 5000 palestinians also remain captive as prisoners and detainees in israeli jails. we call on the international community to commend the government of israel to respect the geneva conventions, to investigate the conditions of the detention of the palestinian prisoners, and that the tase stressing the need for their -- and the detainees, stressing the need for their release. and at the same time, the occupying power continues to tighten the siege and to impose severe restrictions on movement, preventing the palestinian authority from and lamenting
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vital infrastructure projects and providing services to its citizens, who are also being prevented from cultivating their land and deprived from water for irrigation. it is also obstructing the establishment of the cultural, industrial, and tourism and housing projects in vast areas of the occupied palestinian territory, which are classified as areas subject to the absolute control of occupation encompassing approximately 60% of the west bank territory. the occupying power continues to deliberately demolish what the palestinian authority is building. projects and -- they are destroying the palestinian
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building of roads and homes. the occupying authority has destroyed 510 structures in past months. displacing 1700 palestinians from their arms. these measures have caused great damage to the economy and impeded our development program and private sector activity. they compounded the socioeconomic difficulties of our people under occupation. israel's overall policy is ultimately leading to the weakening of the palestinian authority and undermining its ability to carry out its
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functions and its obligations, which threatens to undermine its very existence, or threatening to collapse. all of this is taking place within the context of a discourse that does not hesitate to call brandish palestinians as extremists, in many cases because they are on the ground fighting in religious conflicts. this is something we firmly reject based on our principles and convictions, and due to our understanding of what this means to fuel such fire in this very sensitive area full of explosive flash point, and how it can fuel the action of extremists from various quarters, especially those
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trying to use tolerant, monotheistic religions as an ideological justification for their terrorism. mr. president, ladies and gentleman. we on our part as proof of our seriousness and our sincere intention to create an opening in this impasse conducted exploratory talks with the israeli government at the beginning of this year upon the initiative of the king of jordan. we have also encouraged the expressed desires of several countries to contribute to efforts to break the cycle of deadlock. we have also ourselves under taken initiatives to create favorable conditions for the resumption of negotiations.
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unfortunately however, the result of all of these actions has been very negative. mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, there can only be one reading of the israeli government's actions in our homeland and of the position it has prevented us with regarding the substance of the permanent status agreement -- >> will break away from the palestinian president, kollhoff mood abbas's speech to take you live to -- mahmoud abbas's speech to take you live to the speech of the president of libya. >> i have the pleasure of introducing his excellency, muhamed el-magarief, president of libya, and to invite him to address the assembly. [applause]
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>> in the name of god, the merciful, the compassionate, mr. president, your majesties, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure at the outset to express my congratulations to the leader of the general assembly on his election. i would also like to commend the
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leadership of last year's session. i would also like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to mr. ban ki moon, secretary-general of the united nations, for all the efforts he is making to realize the charters, objectives, and purposes. mr. president, three years ago, a despot who ruled my country for 42 years with oppression and an iron fist, he stood on this very rostrum and tore a copy of the charter of the united nations, saying he did not recognize the authority of that document. today, i am standing on the very
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same rostrum affirming my country support of the charter of the united nations and our respect for it. i stand before you today, before the entire world, to apologize for all the harm, all the crimes committed by that does but against -- that despot against so many citizens, for the terrorism he needed on some of the states. -- he meted on so many states. i would like to stress we are determined to build a state that respects its neighbors, one that respects its international commitments and believes that genuine peace in the world will not be realized unless the
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conscience of every individual is focused on peace. columbia shall be a land of peace and security and a force for peace. -- lybia shall be a land of peace and security and a force for peace. i bring you the greeting of a people that are rose on february 17, 2011 in a comprehensive, explosive revolution that shook the foundations of the regime of these limited despot -- all lunatic despot muammar gaddafi who declared he would destroy libya, who would make it a swim in a bloodbath. he killed thousands of
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civilians, recruited mercenaries from everywhere. he crossed every value and ordered his militias and mercenaries to rape miners -- minors, one who destroyed cities. but our people did not back down. thousands were among the loss. the price of freedom was at a price of blood, live, amputated limbs, and lost youth. from this place on behalf of the libyan people, i greet the organization of the united nations that stood by our people, by our will for freedom against blood lust and nihilism, one that had adopted resolutions 1970 and 1973 into the security
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council to protect the citizens in libya against krenz, against violations of human rights. mr. president, i stand before you today representing the libyan people, eight people that are building the institutions of democracy following the fall of dictatorship. the world has witnessed the first free and transparent elections in libya where the general national council was collected. i was honored to be elected as its leader. the world through these united nations gave us complete, a genuine support for that achievement. in our revolution for freedom and in the challenge of the set
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-- of establishing democracy, the conscience of the world was with us, both in deeds and in thoughts. support was offered from everyone and from everywhere. among those offering help, was ambassador chris stevens. a voice of reason and conscience, a man of love, a messenger of friendship, who came to libya following the outbreak of our freedom revolution, one who touched the people's feelings, who traveled from tripoli to them western mountains and backe and all across libya. chris stevens spoke to everyone in arabic, always smiled, and showed care. this human diplomat had found his place -- has found his place
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in the consciousness of the libyan people. it was a day of sadness throughout libya when he was assassinated. along with his three aides. we would like to express our deepest condolences to the american people for this grave loss. it was a loss for libya, as it was a loss for the united states of america. we stress to the united states, its government, and it people that this catastrophe will only increase our solidarity to entrench the hopes and objectives in which ambassador chris stevens believed. we shall the feed -- defeart
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the backboards plots of the terrorists who do not represent libya, i do not represent islam. islam is a religion of peace and love, just as president obama said from this rostrum to days ago. our future will be a future chartered by people like chris stevens, not by people like his killers. in this context, i would like to express my condolences to the libyan people and to misrata for the death of a man who is joined some long list of martyrs five days ago. mr. president, i would like to express my deep appreciation for
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the actions of the administration following that moment of depression -- of distress. my mission is to pursue the perpetrators and bring them to justice. we shall make our utmost to strengthen the necessary protection granted to diplomatic and consular missions, and to ensure the safety of their employees and facilities. this painful event in no way expresses the feelings of the libyan people as people of moderation, hospitality, and gratitude. the large demonstrations condemning this lascivious crime in the city of van ghazi -- benghazi and other libyan
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cities is the true reflection of a feeling of the libyan people and its feelings toward violence and extremism. libya will never be home to extremist groups. we shall always be a peaceful moslem country, one of moderation -- peaceful muslim country, one of moderation. mr. president, the new libya will be a place of hospitality, transparency, enabling women and youth. it will be a libya by all and for all at the same time. it cannot fail to condemn the anti- islam campaign and those defaming his profit. -- prohet.
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such campaigns increase hatred and provocation and attention among civilizations. they go beyond the concept of free expression. this makes it necessary for the general assembly of the united nations to adopt a covenant in order to criminalize actions that are insulting of the symbols of all religions. and we, as muslims, believe fully in the unity of mankind, of the brotherhood of man, and we express our support for dialog between religions and cooperation, tolerance, and
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humanitarian values. therefore, my country supports all efforts being made within the dialogue between civilizations, cultures, and religions within the united nations and other organizations. mr. president, since the revolution of 17 february, 2011, libya has witnessed an uprising by the libyan people against social injustice and political oppression. this did not stop at merely changing the dictatorial ruling regime. indeed, it went forward toward a full transformation to a genuine and democratic system, based on the respect of human rights, animal feed store -- multi-authority political system, the peaceful handing
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over of power, and to the principles of international law as well as the charter of the united nations. perhaps, you have followed the consecutive political developments in libya in the first few months on the road to democratic transformation, the rebuilding of state institutions, the election of the general national congress, that will through a constituent assembly draft a permanent constitution of libya, the creation of the first followingal government t elections that were fully democratic, as witnessed by international observers. we will work to rebuild, reorganize, and reform state institutions, particulate the police force, -- particularly the police force, they are
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forces and we will work within various programs to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate the revolutionaries in the defense and interior ministries, as well as other state institutions. before the first time since independence, we have political parties in the political arena there is freedom of expression in the press. there is unconditional freedom to demonstrate, the freedom of association, freedom to set up several institutions, unions as well as political and social, intellectual organizations without any limitations. this has led to a free dialogue and participation by all peoples in all parts of the world. mr. president, the time of the previous regime for more than
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four decades saw fragrant -- flagrant violations of human rights, torture, detention without trial, expeditionary killing, humiliation of citizens, mistreatment. the when the revolution erupted on 17 february through peaceful demonstrations, the previous regime faced them down with bullets and oppression in a grave violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law. hence the human rights council suspended libya's membership in said council. and set up an international fact-finding commission, and
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express the condemnation of the international community for such violations. it back commission did certify violations of human rights by the regime forces, and by the hands of some revolutionaries. and therefore, libyan authorities have taken the human rights file to the higher level. mr. president, some wonder whether the arab spring was worthy of support. it to them, i would say, -- would have been better for the corrupt and dictatorial regimes to remain in place for decades more, oppressing, meting out in justice, arbitrary treatment, corruption and violation of
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fundamental human rights? should they have been allowed to continue pillaging the wealth of the peoples, leading some ahman those oppressed people -- among those oppressed people to extremism? and following a particular agenda that goes against peace and security, one of the resort to terrorism and violence. democracy did not come to france following the french revolution a year, or even a decade following the revolution. indeed, this was the case in other parts of the world that gained their freedom. this was followed by instability, and sometimes very long, bloody civil wars. mr. president, at this new stage of building the new libya, we faced threats and challenges that are very serious and
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threaten national and regional security because of illegitimate? bike -- illegitimate acts by and by those who have found safe harbor in some neighboring countries, and others who are committing criminal acts, threatening the security and stability in syria -- in libya. we also face other security threats, drug-trafficking, the trafficking of psychotropic drugs, illegal immigration, the trafficking of weapons. as you know, the nature and scope of these threats to national security and our borders requires the bilateral as well as multilateral response to promote and strengthen the national effort.
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therefore, last march, my country hosted the regional ministerial conference on the security of borders. penetrable the plan of action was adopted in order to consult and share information on the expertise on the security of the borders. restitutionight to of moneys that were pillaged from the treasury and secret it to outside the country, -- secreted to outside the country, used to finance activities that would destabilize libya, this also affects neighboring
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countries. we would call on all our friends to ensure the special rights to libyan investments as well as to the properties of libyan state in other countries, not to touch them, and particularly in some companies -- countries in latin america, africa, and asia, where those funds have been subject to some course of measurements by some governments. we call on all states of the world to cooperate, to come out corruption -- combat corruption and money laundering. we call on international institutions, in particular in some countries in some islands, to bear their responsibilities and not accept suspicious funds, particularly from third world dictators who are bleeding the wealth of their people and hide those funds in that suspicious
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companies. in march of 2010, the world financial integrity -- the global financial integrity issued a report estimating the offshore growth deposit was $10 trillion u.s. who we look forward to the ratification of anti-corruption documentation that would allow many states to combat corruption. and to restitute stolen funds. we offer support against corruption. it is the first convention of its kind. it is binding, legal -- it is
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binding legally internationally by chapter 8, article 71. and in this context, i must pay tribute to the great contribution of the mission, including its leader, it despite the many challenges and difficulties. this is natural and to be expected in the transitional phase. we also welcome the appointment of mr. dmitrijeva -- mr. mitri as the new head of the cooperation and mr. president, libya is committed to all of its commitments in all international instruments on this mormon and -- on disarmament and the
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maintenance of international peace and security. we are prepared to cooperate with the united -- the international community to implement the provisions of the international agreement and protocols in order to create an international environment that will make progress toward ridding the world definitively of weapons of mass destruction. we are also determined to review all other international instruments to which we are not parties, and to take their corporate decision until a constitution is adopted and parliament elected. -- are appropriate decision until a constitution is adopted and parliament elected. we condemn israel oppose the
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measures in attempting to judaize the occupied land. it is a violation of humanitarian law. we call on the international community to take its responsibility by taking urgent, strong measures to put an end to israeli aggression, and to assure full protection to palestinians, as well as a radical solution through a settlement, assuring the withdrawal of israel from all occupied lands, and the return of all palestinian refugees to their homes, the establishment of the independent state in accordance with relevant international resolutions. the suffering of the syrian people is unimaginable.
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the regime in power is requesting the -- is attacking its citizens violently, shedding their blood. it has caused the regime to lose its legitimacy. in order to put an end to such a tragedy, libya urges the security council to act promptly in accordance with the principle of the responsibility to protect and take immediate action to end all forms of murder, violence, and destruction, and find a way out of this crisis toward a peaceful transition toward power. in order to ensure the transition to a peaceful power, this has not been achieved so far. however, with the cooperation of the member states in the security council, and with -- by supporting the efforts of the joint envoy of the arab league and the united nations, this may be obtained.
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libya condemns the social injustice, harassment, and killing against the muslim minority in myanmar. this is a flagrant violation of international human rights. we call all relevant institutions to immediately intervene to put an end to this tragedy. we underline the necessity of forming an international committee to hold those responsible for the killing and violence and bringing to justice. our countries convene annually in this forum. ever since the united nations was established, in order to reflect on the achievements set out in this charter. we have many achievements. and many challenges remain, such as the reform of the united nations, reading the world